Ep 171: Health and Wellness for the CRNA

Long hours and high stress are typically a recipe for poor health, which is why it’s always good to get a reminder to put ourselves and our bodies first. That can be difficult for CRNAs, who are trained to prioritize the needs of others. That’s why we wanted to bring on master nutritionist Donnell Carter, MBA, MS, CRNA to give us the information and motivation we need to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

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

On This Episode:

Many Americans have reassessed their health over the past couple of years due to the pandemic and the toll it took on those that were most susceptible. Even more than that, we’ve all started paying more attention to our wellness each day.

But are you doing it consistently? That’s what we all need help with. Between work and our lives, there’s not a lot of time to take care of ourselves. That’s where people like Donnell Carter, MBA, MS, CRNA come in.

This former member of the US Navy has worked in healthcare for more than three decades now. About 24 of those years were spent as a nurse and the past 14 have been spent practicing nurse anesthesia. Through this work, he has become more and more passionate about the role nutrition and exercise play in all aspects of our lives. Donnell even learned this through experience when he found exercise as a way up from what he called his rock bottom.

Today we’ll spend some time talking with him about his background in health and why it’s so important for CRNAs to prioritize their selves.

Check out the full conversation using the audio player above.

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

  • How he transitioned from the Navy to healthcare industry.
  • How he hit rock bottom in 2011 and what he did to turn his life around.
  • The decision to go into nursing and then anesthesia school.
  • What can CRNAs do to start putting their health and wellness first.
  • Understanding the role nutrition plays in your body.
  • What is a master nutrionist and how do you achieve that?
  • His business now and how he serves clients.
  • Exercise as an anti-depressant.
  • The role that poor health played in the pandemic.

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.

3:20 – Welcome in Donnell

5:18 – Time in the Navy 

7:11 – Event that changed his life

12:18 – Going to anesthesia school

14:25 – How CRNAs can integrate health and wellness 

19:04 – Master nutritionist 

21:33 – His services 

22:40 – Coaching 

29:53 – Fighting depression

36:59 – Obesity’s role in the pandemic 

43:33 – Final thoughts

45:20 – Lightning round


“That’s where it starts, I think. Really programming your mind to understand that it’s okay to give back to yourself, right, because if you don’t have your health, anything following that isn’t getting the optimized you.”

-Donnell Carter, MBA, MS, 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.