The early years of anesthesia were a time when nurses proved just how valuable they were as this new world was being explored. Olive Berger, CRNA was one of the women that rose to the occasion and helped shape the profession through her work with ‘blue babies’ and with the AANA. Today we look back on her career with show historians Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA.
Check out the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.
On This Episode:
Our look back through the history of anesthesia continues today with the story of Olive Berger, CRNA, who had an early impact on the profession and the AANA.
Berger might not be well known by most people, but she earned respect through the work she did when anesthesia was still in its infancy. She completed anesthesia training exactly 100 years ago in 1922. She would carve out her legacy at John’s Hopkins Hospital and then later at the Children’s Hospital of Boston.
Show historians Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA join on us on this episode to tell Berger’s story.
Here are some of the things you’ll learn on this episode:
- Her early career graduating in 1922, the rise to Chief Nurse Anesthetist just nine years later, and some of her accomplishments. (6:38)
- The story behind the ‘blue baby’ operations and the Blalock-Taussig-Thomas shunt that was developed for patients with cyanotic heart disease. (12:01)
- Details from a 1948 AANA Journal article where Ms. Berger spoke about the early anesthesia administered. (16:20)
- The Austin Lamont study that concluded anesthesiology should become a medical specialty. (21:19)
- The multiple roles she held with the NANA and then AANA. (25:22)
We’ve gotten so much great feedback about this historical series and we thank you for that. If you ever want to connect with Sandy or Nancy to ask them a question or request a subject for the podcast, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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“This was an unexplored world that these ladies were in and they stepped to the plate. You can see that the physicians did the first hundred of them and they weren’t coming out too well.”-Sandy Ouellette, CRNA