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CRNA Week

Featured Clinician: John DellaRipa, CRNA

Posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2016
Featured Clinician: John DellaRipa, CRNA

It’s National CRNA Week, and we’re recognizing some of our anesthesia superstars! Meet John DellaRipa, CRNA at California Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Years with EmCare: 3 years

Years Practicing Anesthesia: Graduated as CRNA from Kaiser Permanente School of Nurse Anesthesia in 2004.

Why did you choose to become a CRNA? Like many 1970s adolescents, watching Emergency One sparked my interest in pre-hospital medicine. Ultimately, I graduated paramedic school in 1995 from Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu. Shortly after graduation, I enrolled in nursing school at Hawaii Pacific University to expand my medical knowledge for my pre-hospital career. During this time, I discovered the CRNA pathway and knew this was the natural career progression I should pursue.

Describe one of your greatest professional accomplishments. It occurred this August, when I received the award for Clinical Coordinator of the Year for the Kaiser Permanente School of Nurse Anesthesia.

What would be your ideal category on “Jeopardy”? “Regional Anesthesia” for a $1,000, of course.

How do you stay organized at work? Working with students definitely forces me to be organized and on top of all of the latest anesthesia research/techniques.

What are your tips for “leaving work at work” and not getting burned out professionally? Working out before my shift helps clear my mind for the day. I commute from South Orange County to Downtown Los Angeles (58 miles) at 4 a.m. to beat the morning traffic. This gives me 90 minutes to work out before heading into the hospital for my shift.

How are you “making healthcare work better”? I mostly work in the Orthopedic OR, where there are core teams. Working with the same OR staff and surgeons forms strong bonds and relationships that make the workplace enjoyable even during a busy stressful OR day.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about work or life? The best advice I’ve received occurred very early in my pre-hospital career and has stuck with me for more than 20 years. My paramedic mentor Mandy Shiraki, MICT (RIP) said, “Treat every patient as if they were your family member. Treat them how you would want to be treated.”

What do you enjoy outside of work? I work hard and play hard. My personal hobbies outside of work center around family activities: mountain biking, skiing, taking the Jeep out, and working out. Very soon I'm hoping to start training in Jiu Jitsu with my son Griffin.

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? One of my favorite quotes comes from Bruce Lee: “Learning is a process of discovery, a process without end.”

What are you currently reading? I’m reading “Scar Tissue,” the autobiography of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

What’s your favorite TV show? Anything that's a documentary: Forensic Files, Making a Murderer, The First 48

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of? My family is my life's biggest accomplishment: my wife Catherine and kids Griffin and Giselle
 

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Featured Clinician: Patti Alexander, CRNA

Posted on Tue, Jan 26, 2016
Featured Clinician: Patti Alexander, CRNA

It’s National CRNA Week, and we’re recognizing some of our anesthesia superstars! Meet Patti Alexander, CRNA at CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - Memorial.

Years with EmCare: 15 years

Years practicing medicine: 23 as a CRNA

Why did you decide to become a CRNA? A man whom I looked up to at church told me about his rewarding career, so I looked in to it.

What career did you want to pursue when you were younger? As a child, I wanted to be a stewardess. As a teen, I wanted to be a dentist.

Describe one of your greatest professional accomplishments. My greatest professional accomplishment isn’t mine only, but is shared with my fellow CRNAs and surgical team, saving lives.

What would be your ideal category on “Jeopardy”? Dog Breeds

How do you stay organized at work? Organization at work has become a habit over the years.

What are your tips for “leaving work at work” and not getting burned out professionally? I do take my work home with me, but by talking and praying about those in tragic situations, I defuse.

How are you “making healthcare work better”? By taking a genuine interest in those I care for.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about work or life? Treat others as you want to be treated.

What do you enjoy outside of work? Being outdoors, whether mowing a lawn, hiking, boating or traveling

What’s your favorite inspirational quote? “Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad” by Jeffrey R. Holland

Tell us something that most people at work don't know about you. My brother and I overhauled an engine together. I love mechanics!

What are you currently reading? “Plunder and Deceit” by Mark Levine

What’s your favorite TV show? “Person of Interest”

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of? My three children

For more information about CRNA careers, visit the Careers section of our website.
 

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National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

Posted on Mon, Jan 25, 2016
National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

By Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA

America’s rural hospitals are struggling. It seems that I read news of a hospital closure nearly every week. One way that financially strapped hospitals are working to deliver quality care more economically is through the use of advanced practice registered nurses, specifically Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).

CRNAs, the primary providers of anesthesia services in rural America, provide the majority of anesthesia care in U.S. counties with lower-income populations and populations that are more likely to be uninsured or unemployed, according to Nursing Economic$.

About CRNAs

CRNAs administer approximately 40 million anesthetics each year in the United States, according to the AANA’s 2014 Practice Profile Survey. The industry began credentialing registered nurse anesthetists in 1956.

CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified providers. They are responsible for patient safety before, during and after surgery. Nurse anesthetists administer every type of anesthesia to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. CRNAs provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions during surgical, obstetrical and other medical procedures. CRNAs monitor and interpret diagnostic information throughout the course of a patient’s procedure.

Typically, the requirements to be a CRNA are:
 

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate bachelor’s degree
  • A current license as a registered nurse
  • At least one year’s experience as a registered nurse in a critical care setting
  • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program
  • Pass the National Certification Examination following graduation.

To be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice.

Job Outlook

Due to increased financial pressure on hospitals, there is a significant and growing need for CRNAs across the country. A 31 percent growth rate is predicted over the next decade, according to nursejournal.org.

EmCare employs CRNAs in facilities across the country. They are valued members of our clinical team, and our integrated care approach enables CRNAs to practice at the top of their licenses.

EmCare supports CRNAs in a variety of ways, including:
 
  • Leadership, teaching and mentoring opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Earn While You Learn, a program that provides a monthly stipend to providers completing a CRNA program

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

Linda Caccamo

Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA, is Senior Vice President of Operations for EmCare Anesthesia Services. Caccamo received her master’s degree in anesthesiology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and combined MBA/MHA from Wilmington University in Delaware. In her current role, she offers supervision and support for anesthesia site medical directors and professional staff. Before joining EmCare, she served as an executive director for a large anesthesia group practice at a Level 1 regional referral center. She is a former instructor for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and has earned a Black Belt Certification in Lean Methodology for Healthcare. She has served on numerous professional and state level committees and continues to practice anesthesia as an anesthetist in EmCare’s North Division.

 

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