Debra Minzola, PhD, MSN, CRNA, program director at the Geisinger Health System/ Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Nurse Anesthesia Program, recently visited MMI Preparatory School to provide 10th and 11th grade students with a hands-on information session designed to help them learn about becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).
Minzola, along with Assistant Program Director Shannon Slabinski, MSN, CRNA and nine graduate students, set up multiple stations for hands-on experience, including two stations with heads for intubations, a gowning and gloving station, and a station for epidural and spinal puncture.
During the program, the students watched a video on what it’s like to be a nurse anesthetist and Minzola delivered a presentation where she discussed what a CRNA is, identified the requirements for becoming a CRNA and informed the students on how they could locate information on one of the 116 nurse anesthesia educational programs that are available across the country.
MMI Head of School D. Scott Wiggins said, “MMI is committed to providing learning opportunities that expose our students to a variety of vocations and lifelong passions that work toward the development of the whole student. The medical profession is filled with so many worthy positions and Debra’s program was a great asset to our students as they plan their future endeavors.”
Nurse anesthetists, the first healthcare providers dedicated to the specialty of anesthesia, have their roots in the 1800s, when nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the Civil War. Today, CRNAs are master’s-prepared advanced practice nurses who enjoy a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs administer more than 34 million anesthetics in the United States each year.