Ep 131: PTSD and Suicide Prevention for CRNAs and SRNAs

A significant number of people in our country are dealing with the effects of PTSD and it often goes overlooked or ignored. With the amount of added pressure CRNAs and SRNAs have due to the job, it shouldn’t be a surprise that suicides happen too often among our peers. So how do you identify issues and help those you think might be struggling? We’ve asked mental health experts Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA and Chuck Griffis, PhD, CRNA to join the show to help us all learn more about the struggles people are facing and what can be done to prevent suicides in the future.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Mental health has been a quiet killer in this country for many years but more and more people are shining the light on these heartbreaking issues.

Two of those people in our profession are Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA and Chuck Griffis, PhD, CRNA. Not only are they incredible people, but they’ve poured a lot of time and effort into improving the mental health of CRNAs and SRNAs. As front line works, nurse anesthetists are always under the added pressure of their profession and that’s why PTSD and suicide has been too prevalent.

The good news is these things can be preventable. We’ve asked both our guests today to address this incredibly important topic that hits close to home for many of us. We’ll talk openly and honestly about the issues that exist and the ways that we can all help improve mental health in our own lives and the lives of our friends and co-workers.

So as you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • How his military experience and seeing PTSD first-hand pushed Dr. Hogan to focus on this issue.
  • There’s an epidemic of suicide right now
  • The reasons why CRNAs deal with even more stress than other professions.
  • Why does PTSD go undiagnosed.
  • Examples of ways that PTSD begins for CRNAs and SRNAs
  • Overcoming the stigmas that are associated with mental health.
  • A significant number of people are dealing with PTSD.
  • Why suicides aren’t uncommon among CRNAs and the reasons people get to that point.
  • How to help someone that you think might be contemplating suicide.
  • The resources that the AANA offers in this area.
  • How do you know if you are dealing with PTSD?
  • What ways we can improve education on this matter.

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

4:31 – Background on Jerry

8:40 – Background on Chuck

13:15 – Why this topic is so important right now  

16:19 – How PTSD goes undiagnosed

21:48 – Examples of PTSD in CRNAs

25:54 – The amount of people affected by this  

29:26 – CRNAs prone to suicide  

34:35 – If you know someone that might be facing this   

41:08 – Statistics

42:43 – Resources the AANA offers

50:25 – How do you know if you have PTSD?  

56:27 – Improving education

59:53 – Study Griffis is doing

 


“All of us as healthcare practitioners, we all encounter challenging life events. We may be healthcare practitioners but we still have moms and dads that pass away. We have financial challenges where we lose everything for making some dumb investment. We have divorces. We lose relationships. We have a sudden need to change jobs, with all the uprooting that goes with that. We bring that into this challenging environment.”

-Chuck Griffis, PhD, CRNA

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COVID-19 Pandemic

Ep 213: Moral Injury and Nurse Anesthesia

With the increased distress and rationing of care that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of Moral Injury (MI) has started to garner much more attention in the world of healthcare. This repeated conflict between an individual’s morality and the management of care causes a deep emotional wound that often drives workers out of the profession altogether. Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA wrote an article about this subject, so we’ve asked him to explain the effects of MI and how CRNAs can resolve this conflict.

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Current Events

Ep 212: Thankful for the AANA and Its Ongoing Efforts for CRNAs

It hasn’t been the easiest year for a lot of people, but we know there’s still plenty to be grateful for as we approach another Thanksgiving. Specifically, we wanted to shine the light on the AANA and everything they do for our profession each year. New AANA President Angie Mund, DNP, CRNA is a friend of the show and someone we appreciate quite a bit so we wanted to spend some time with her on this holiday to talk about everything she’s hoping to accomplish over the next year.

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Clinical

Ep 211: Anesthesia Management for a Pheochromocytoma

We’ve had CRNAs and SRNAs ask us to give them the essential information needed to manage a particular case and today we’re going to do that with Pheochromocytoma. This is the second episode in our endocrine surgical procedures series and there will be some valuable info that you might find on exams as well. Here’s the power-packed episode for anesthesia management for a Pheochromocytoma that we hope you get a lot out of.

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