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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