My journey into medicine began when I read the book “Elizabeth Blackwell The First Woman Doctor” in grade school which was followed shortly by my first microscope. Although I didn’t know it at the time this would prove to be a lifelong journey with many stops along the way. I have done everything from purchasing and accounts receivable at a small surgery center to OB tech to OR scheduling. It was there, in the OR at a once rural Southern California hospital where I had my first meaningful encounters with CRNAs. They practiced independently and had the full respect of everyone with whom we worked. There was also a unique camaraderie and closeness.
After completing nursing school and working for a number of years in the NICU, PICU, ER, and LDRP, I found myself ready to pursue an advanced degree. At the time I was living in South Dakota with my husband (who was in medical school) and as I began to research available options I became aware that there was a nurse anesthesia program less than an hour away. Without hesitation I applied and was accepted to the program. There were so many things that fell into place for me to be able to apply and start this program that I knew it was the right decision. My first CRNA position was at Loma Linda University and it was a tremendous opportunity for me. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to return home to Southern California to start my CRNA career. The experience I gained and the friendships I made are absolutely invaluable to me.
About three and a half years ago I moved with my husband and daughter to Utah. It has ultimately led to a transition in work-life for me that I honestly never anticipated. In that time I have grown immensely and become much more independently minded with my thinking. I have expanded my practice to include both private practice in addition to care team models. I love being able to care for a patient from start to finish, while making decisions about that care based on my judgement and collaboration with surgeons who value my input. Practicing in the Salt Lake area has also allowed me the opportunity to have patients request me as their anesthesia provider for subsequent procedures, which fills me with a sense of pride that I have provided my patients with excellent care, as well as pertinent and accurate education about anesthesia and nurse anesthetists. Furthermore, I have developed a growing interest in serving my nurse anesthesia community and hope to serve as a UANA committee member in the near future.
Anesthesia has given me the tools not only to diligently care for patients in the operating room, delivery room, and clinic, it has also helped foster a confidence and ambition in me. Currently, I am delving into the realm of aesthetics and entrepreneurship. Outside of my career, anytime I have is spent with my daughter. I also enjoy planning and taking our family vacations, Disney is a favorite!