In 2020, nurses and medical field employees were praised as "front line," workers like never before. Now, Florida is seeing an increase in veterans now serving as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).
The Florida Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (FANA) is thanking the military veterans who have taken skills from their previous service and transferring it into the medical field. Currently more than 5,400 CRNAs work in all practice settings in Florida, such as hospitals.
Anywhere Anesthesia may be delivered, CRNAs are there, working to ensure the process goes smoothly. They also take up the mantle of primary care provider to patients in rural areas and on the battle field.
"I had an opportunity to shadow a CRNA at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base," said Paul J. Safara, MSNA, CRNA, of Tampa. "I was hooked from that day forward. I admired the level of skill, the level of responsibility, the level of independence, and the reward of caring for these sick surgical patients in their time of need."
In recent years, the medical frontlines has had to deal with the side effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has led to many having to gain literacy on ventilator management and has moved the occupation of CRNA into a critically needed spot.
Kathryn Jansky a retired Lt. Col. after 20 years of service, is now a CRNA. She served around the world including Germany, Honduras and under fire at times in Iraq during Desert Storm. She said in regard to her time in the military, "You become the expert because you are all there is, so you need to be competent and confident. This helps with independent practice," she said. "Also, you find great depth of personal strength: you work until the job is done and the surgeon has taken care of the patient."