Several nurse anesthesia programs offer opportunities for their graduate students to administer anesthesia under direction in the Third World during their anesthesia education. Samford University here in the Birmingham, Alabama area is one of them. A Third World anesthesia experience is an incredible opportunity for one learning anesthesia. Because of the common constraints on equipment and supplies anesthesia providers often face the following great learning opportunities:
- limited electronic monitoring requires more use of one's senses
- limited medications available requires one to think of alternative ways to conduct anesthesia
- limited supplies, piped oxygen, and even electricity mimic "disaster response" conditions which provides practice for power outages in an OR here in the USA
I've benefitted from having done some anesthesia in a developing nation and it was a great opportunity. I want to support these opportunities in our nurse anesthesia programs. I want to support graduate students who take advantage of them. I hope you'll join me. Please talk to someone at a nurse anesthesia program. See how you can support this great learning opportunity.
Michael A. Fiedler, PhD, CRNA