The Life & Experiences of a Military CRNA with Dr. Debra Diaz

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

On This Episode:

We’re excited for today’s episode as we explore the intersection of anesthesia, leadership, and military service with the incredible Debra Diaz, DNP, CRNA, APRN, FAANA. She’s a CRNA who served in the US Navy and shares her profound experiences from the front lines to the operating room. Discover the unique challenges of military anesthesia, the critical importance of leadership, and the unyielding spirit of service that defines the CRNA profession.

Debra began as an RN in 1976 and was commissioned in the military as a US Navy Nurse Corps Officer in 1992. Her 24 years serving both active duty and the reserves included time on three aircraft carriers and deployment overseas. Deborah’s story is a vivid tapestry of leadership, mentorship, and the evolution of trauma care. She vividly recounts her experiences on naval ships, where emergency cases like appendectomies and unexpected surgeries due to accidents were the norms. Her tales from the OR are interwoven with personal insights on leadership and the importance of relationships in advancing one’s career and the profession as a whole.

Listeners will find themselves captivated by the unique challenges faced by military CRNAs. From carrying out medical procedures under the pressure of combat to ensuring the well-being of fellow servicemen and women, Deborah’s account sheds light on a side of anesthesia that few have the privilege to see.

 

Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:

  • The difference between being a CRNA in the military and working as a civilian.
  • The training the military provides and how the Navy stresses leadership training.
  • The experiences she had on aircraft carriers, including being on a ship that had just two females among a crew of 5500 people.
  • Debra shares stories about treating combat injuries and why she had to carry multiple weapons during some of her assignments.
  • What she gained from her military service that benefits her as a CRNA.

 

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“Always being of service to me is the most important value that I have and the most important action. So you take it to the military, and to me, it’s one of the highest levels of service that you can give. And then also to be able to give back to the profession that has given so much to me, I cannot believe that I actually get paid to do what I do.”

– Dr. Debra Diaz


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Balancing a Career in Music with Being a CRNA

In this episode, Sharon and guest host Tracy Castleman, DNP, CRNA, APN-A, FAANA sit down David Giardinelli-O’Connor, PhD, DNAP, CRNA, who has successfully balanced a demanding career in anesthesia with his lifelong passion for music.

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