Few of us race to embrace change when it occurs in our lives, and I may be one of the world’s worst. I recently retired from a large teaching hospital where I was a staff anesthetist for more than 19 years. Every time something new appeared on my cart or in my room I fought it tooth and nail. (Can you remember your first experience with electronic charting?) These changes, most always, proved to be improvements… they just took some getting used to. In this place, I reached and assumed my “comfort zone.” But change was in the wind.

For the first time in my nearly forty-year career I am now working in an all CRNA practice. My husband and I have always enjoyed the beautiful mountains and slower pace of life in north Georgia. So when a CRNA colleague was looking for some help, I was happy to join her. I now find myself in a very different situation, even occasionally missing some of those things that I struggled with before. (See “electronic charting,” above.) The change that I have made, professionally speaking, has been immense. I have gone from a large teaching institution where we often had more bodies in the room than we needed to small county facilities where I am frequently the only anesthesia provider in the building. These times remind and make me appreciative of the many CRNAs who have been practicing in solitary situations for years. But, I must tell you that when I travel to work in the morning and see the sun peeking over the mountains, and when I meet new and such friendly and welcoming people, I know that this change is a good one.

What hasn’t and will not change is how blessed I feel to be doing what I do. Nurse anesthesia continues to be an incredibly rewarding profession.

So what does this have to do with our organization? Well, like us in our personal lives, organizations undergo change. In October, we will welcome in a new slate of officers headed by the very capable Barry Cranfill. Effective on January 31st, we will lose the services of our Executive Director and Legal Counsel Christy Dunkelberger. For many years, Christy has been an integral and valuable part of the GANA. We will miss her greatly and speak more of her contributions in days to come. When these changes come about, we can reflect with fondness on the past, but should eagerly look forward to what is to come.

Yes, change can be challenging. But, this time, I chose to view it as a door of opportunity. I invite you to be a “change agent” yourself. Join with your colleagues in the Georgia Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Raise your hand. Accept a position in the organization to keep the practice of nurse anesthesia the wonderful profession that it is.

As always I would like to express my gratitude to all the current and past members of GANA who continue to advocate for patients and the practice of nurse anesthesia.

Voting in AANA elections opened April 25th. Please take the time to get to know the candidates and vote. It is your best opportunity to chose the leadership, and hence, the direction of the AANA.


* Thanks to the late David Bowie for the use of his lyrics from “Changes,” a hit some of you may remember from 1971. Yes, it was that long ago.