Ep 106: The Impact of COVID 19 on Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs with Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP

The wide-ranging effects of COVID on the healthcare system have been well-documented, but what impact is this pandemic having on nurse anesthesia students and educational programs? Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP, is the Program Director at the Mayo Nurse Anesthesia Program and has seen the changes first-hand. She joins the show to share her experience this year and tell us what it could mean for the future of the profession.

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

On This Episode:

This year has been tough on all of us but healthcare professionals have been on the front lines throughout the pandemic. We’ve spent a lot of time on this show examining the impact it’s had on work, mental health, and finances, but what about the future of our profession?

Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP, is the Program Director at the Mayo Nurse Anesthesia Program, and we wanted to bring her on the podcast to discuss an overlooked area of the COVID pandemic. While we’ve been focusing on the current state of healthcare and nursing, the future is where we want to pay attention to now. 

That’s why we’re spending time discussing nurse anesthesia programs on this show. After all, education is the future of the profession and the way students are learning and training now is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Martin took over the role in the middle of the pandemic, which made for an interesting transition. The biggest challenge, as she explains, has been how quickly everything has happened. Programs all over the country have reacted and adapted to this unique set of challenges.

We’ll discuss many aspects of these programs and what it could mean moving forward. The bar can’t be lowered so they’ve had to be flexible while maintaining that standard. But it’s also important that employers are are that these students come in with a different clinical experience. We don’t completely know what they are but we know that there will be differences.

It’s a very important topic that many aren’t even thinking about yet and we hope to bring it to your attention on this episode.

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

  • These educational changes will impact the profession
  • The admissions process
  • How they pivoted so quickly
  • PPE challenges
  • Mental health assistance for students
  • Good that’s come out of this
  • The next class of nurses will enter workforce will different educational experience
  • So much is virtual right now

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.

2:33 – Welcome in Erin Martin 

3:52 – Why this is an important topic

5:27 – Program admissions

8:27 – What’s been the biggest challenge?

10:20 – Dealing with the lack of PPE

12:31 – How she helped students on the mental health side

16:06 – Repercussions for being out of clinical for six weeks

21:21 – Experiences that students are missing out on 

26:13 – New students haven’t ever been in a room together

29:26 – What happens after this all stops?

31:31 – What would you tell someone thinking about applying to an anesthesia program?

34:53 – Showing empathy to these students 

37:37 – Final message from Erin 

“The changes that COVID 19 have imparted on even minor things within our educational programs has the potential to have a pretty big downstream impact on the future workforce.”

Erin Martin, Program Director at Mayo Nurse Anesthesia Program





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.

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.


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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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.