Ep 150: Expanding Role of CRNAs in Disaster Response

With the resources and skills that CRNAs possess, they are trained to succeed in crisis situations, which is why more and more of our peers are assisting in disaster response. One of those generous people is Corinne Chausse, a CRNA from North Carolina that has worked on the front lines of Iraq, at the epicenter of the pandemic, and other highly stressful locations. Today she joins the show to talk about this experience, share remarkable stories, and explain the many benefits of serving in these response roles. 

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

On This Episode:

The role of disaster response workers has never been more important. With crises around the globe, CRNAs have been stepping up to provide assistance in some of the toughest medical environments.

With these roles expanding within our profession, we wanted to explore this work with someone that’s dedicated a lot of time to helping those in the most need. Corinne Chausse, CRNA, is a member of the Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team and has first-hand experience in highly-stressful environments. She’s spent time in Iraq during airstrikes and worked more than 30 days straight at the height of the pandemic in New York City.

We’ve asked her to be the guest for this episode of the podcast to take us into those difficult environments and share what it’s like. Plus, it’s great to hear the stories and find out what she’s learned along the way. Not only has it given her more gratitude in her daily life, but it’s also helped improve the work she does as a CRNA in Monroe, North Carolina.

This was a great conversation and we’re thankful for the work she’s done to help out some many people in critical need.

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

  • How she got into this position
  • Her experience working in Iraq and being around airstrikes
  • What she does emotional and physically to prepare for trips.
  • What impact has her work abroad had on the job she does at home
  • Why arriving in NY at the beginning of the pandemic reminded her of the time following 9/11.
  • The positive memories and thoughts she has when looking back on the work she’s done.
  • Incredible stories from working in these highly stressful environments.
  • What advice she’d give to CRNAs that have an interest in disaster response.

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.

4:09 – Background on Corrine

6:47 – Places she’s traveled to  

10:41 – Preparing herself for these violent locations  

11:54 – Handling blast injuries

14:55 – Influencing her work at home

16:38 – Dealing with COVID in NYC  

21:16 – Positive memories she has  

26:54 – The tremendous levels of stress  

34:24 – Advice CRNAs with an interest in this work  

37:54 – Lightning Round  


“When we step out of our comfort zone as CRNAs, it’s incredible. We are an incredible profession. We have amazing skills and resources, and when we bring that to the table in unusual situations, obviously you benefit from it.”

-Corinne Chausse, CRNA

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