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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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.