I salute you all ladies and gentlemen. I begin by giving you important details about my background. In the year 2002, I moved to Michigan from Windsor Ontario. Initially, I was engaged in the wonderful world of Real Estate. It was while working in the mortgage loan industry that I started my own mortgage processing company. This was in partnership with a fellow employee. Additionally, I obtained my real estate license, which enabled me to sell home security systems. However, in 2007, one year before the big collapse of my enterprise, I felt the instability of real estate and began nursing pre-requisite classes while shutting down the company. I attained a phlebotomy certificate in December 2007 and was hired into the DMC Laboratories in March 2008. Six months later, I was hired as a nursing assistant, in a med-surg unit. I also worked as a nursing assistant in the Pre and Post-operative areas and the emergency departments. Although I truly enjoyed my clinical experiences in the nursing program, I noticed that we did not get any rotations in the ICU and I only spent 4 hours in recovery. Therefore, I set out to acquire my own clinical experiences and began shadowing in departments that were not included in my program. This is when I shadowed a CRNA at Huron Valley Hospital, and a critical care nurse at Sinai-Grace Hospital.
What ultimately sparked my interest to become a CRNA was the results I obtained from my health professional survey. I would inquire from every health professional I came across about how they felt about their career. Additionally, I sought to know from them which career path they would choose if an opportunity to switch jobs arose. Interestingly, majority of the nurses noted that they encountered both good and bad days. Regrettably though, they had no overwhelming love for their job. One PA for instance was categorical that she would have chosen CRNA. By contrast, a certain physician confessed that he would opt to be a rock star because of the large amounts of money and women they are able to access. However, every CRNA stated they loved their job. I therefore swore to become a CRNA. The journey to acquire my Associates degree in nursing was quite hectic. At the beginning of my program, my mother was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. I had to care for my ailing mother, who was still living in Windsor while still paying attention to my three children at home. I was also active in the extracurricular activities at school. I was however disappointed because our school was not affiliated with any nursing organizations, which I felt was important. After becoming a member of the National Student Nurses’ Association, I started the Michigan chapter for Wayne County Community College, to which I was the president. Understandably, most students could barely afford books let alone a membership. So, in exchange for their membership, I raffled off gift certificates and an iTouch. In addition to these, our lab uniforms were a simple T-shirt and jogging pants. I was proud of our nursing program, but there was nothing to prove that we were part of it. I therefore designed our nursing T-shirts and funded the first batch in order to give us a sense of pride. I am proud whenever I visit the campus to find students wearing the T-shirts I designed many years ago.
After graduating in May 2011, I enrolled for my RN-BSN program in the month of July the same year. My life during this program was more hectic than my associates. During this time, my mother went through multiple surgeries, and then home hospice. In the last six months of my program, I divided my time between full-time work, classes and clinic. I also had to spend two nights a week in Windsor caring for my mother. My graduation was in May 5th, 2013. Sadly for me, ladies and gentlemen, 20 days later, my mother was to pass on. Throughout my entire nursing program and while still taking care of my family, I began the rigorous process of obtaining a patent. I mention all this to you to prove that through hard work, it is possible to multitask and achieve your goals. Perhaps I should hasten to note that despite all the said challenges, I managed to graduate with honors in my Associate program, and with honors in the BSN program.
Now to address the required questions for the professional autobiography: Working in an urban hospital for the past two years has provided me with more than just critical care experience. My ability to work under pressure has been enhanced by dealing with co-morbid patients and their families. Although I work in a medical ICU, I have been pulled many times to the surgical ICUs. My experience involves working with ventilated patients, pulmonary artery catheters, arterial lines, ICP monitors, EVDs, train of four, bladder pressures, and specialty beds to assist in ARDS. Ensuring hemodynamic stability is essential on our unit. This is done by titrating meds such as Norephinephine, Cardizem, Dobutamine, Nicardipine, Lasix, Insulin, Versed, Propofol, Morphine, and Fentanyl. Although I have not had the experience of working with a balloon pump, I did take an IABP class at Receiving Hospital to familiarize myself with this type of equipment.
The role of a nurse anesthetist is critical and important. Patients are vulnerable to the experience and knowledge of the nurse anesthetist. I feel that although there is much autonomy in this position, the overall picture is being a part of the team, and having great communication in order to provide each patient with the best possible care. The poem below would apply to CRNAs as well as surgeons.
Surgeons must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the Culprit – Life!
In the year 2011, I attended my first information session with Mike Dosch. The set-up was very personable and I truly appreciated the way he left halfway in, and allowed us time to sit and speak with the actual students. The program information was structured very well and was also intimidating to the audience. It was impressed upon me that U of D Mercy really cared for their students and would provide excellent support to those who attend their program. I have attended a few other sessions, at other schools, even outside of Michigan, but I felt comfortable with U of D Mercy. Currently I volunteer with Hospice Michigan, and I have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. In the memory of my late mother, my siblings and I are organizing a colon cancer walk, in Windsor that is scheduled in the month of May. My life has prepared me for the challenges of the CRNA program. I have acquired great organizational skills, multitasking methods, and how to persevere through the most difficult times. These experiences, along with my caring nature will help to develop me into a notable CRNA.