It’s hard to believe, but CRNA Week in Pennsylvania this year is starting to look and feel a lot like CRNA Week last year.
We may not be locked down in 2022 like we were in 2021, but hospitals and health-care facilities once again are facing critical staffing shortages, with some areas setting COVID-19 case records.
Clearly, the pandemic is not finished. The dizzying speed of omicron’s spread has left everyone scratching their heads and questioning what they know about COVID-19.
Through it all, certified registered nurse anesthetists have remained on the frontline, putting their advanced education and training to work to care for critically ill patients.
This year, CRNA Week in Pennsylvania is a tribute to every nurse anesthetist who courageously has stepped forward to serve during this pandemic and who works daily to save lives and provide the best possible care in a variety of settings.
Thank you for all you do to serve our profession so honorably and your patients so faithfully.
All of us are under enormous pressure. To be the most effective we can be, however, we need to ensure we take care of ourselves, so we are able to care for others.
One of my top priorities as PANA president is promoting health and wellness.
Health and wellness have always been important in our profession, but they take on a new meaning during this prolonged pandemic, as health-care providers, including CRNAs and SRNAs, confront a disproportionate share of physical and emotional strain.
Self-care in the workplace and at home is essential. Health and wellness issues span a wide spectrum --- from finding ways to reduce risks and limit stress on the job to making positive choices and managing lifestyles to improve health and fitness.
We are best for others when we are at our own personal best.
PANA values the importance of pillars, which is why you will see more health and wellness activities incorporated into regular meeting, lectures, and spring and fall meetings. Now more than ever, we need to support each other.
I hope CRNA Week in Pennsylvania offers you a time to reflect and celebrate the work we do.
Please share your stories with PANA and your peers, and tag #CRNAinPA on Facebook and Twitter so we can add them to our collections. While you’re at it, visit our new Instagram page, @PANACRNA, which launched this week. Tag us here, too, and show us what you’re doing.
Thank you for stepping forward to serve during this pandemic, for proving yourselves as battle-tested providers on the frontlines at home and in combat, and for fighting to ensure access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care each and every day.
Lew Bennett, DNP, CRNA
Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists