Skip to main content

Make a Gift

LEFT – Assistant Professors Adam Suchar (far left) and Eva Waller (far right) visit pediatric sedation room with (L to R) Micah Smith, Ethan Smith, Legend Wang, Cooper Partridge & Samantha Partridge / RIGHT – (L to R) Assistant Professor Sally Stander assists family members Henry, Jeremy and Leo Stander with central line placement.

Provider wellness is an emphasis in the Department. The Wellness Committee recently extended its focus to those directly linked to the well-being of our providers – family and friends.

In April 2017, the Department hosted a Family Anesthesia Experience Day at UNC School of Medicine’s Clinical Skills and Patient Simulation Center. Over 25 departmental members volunteered. The half-day event featured adults’ and kids’ tracks with observation and hands-on activities for over 70 family members and friends of Department residents, faculty, and CRNAs. Learning about the daily technical challenges and stresses of anesthesia care enabled participants to gain an empathy for, and understanding of, what anesthesia providers do on a daily basis.

Adults watched a high-fidelity simulation scenario involving pre-op assessment, induction, an intraoperative code, and telephone handoff to the ICU, followed by a debriefing session to answer questions on what they had seen. Adult participants also went through stations involving hands-on experience with airway management, peripheral nerve blocks, central line placement, and neuraxial techniques using task trainers.

The kids’ track included a tour of UNC’s Pediatric Sedation Simulation room, as well as hands-on experience with monitoring, airway management and an ultrasound. At the “teddy bear hospital,” this younger group evaluated and “treated” injuries of their own stuffed animals. Mask decorating and a “syringe challenge” built additional play into their track.

Rounding out the day’s learning with a little light-heartedness, participants and providers had the opportunity to create freeze frame mementos from an onsite dress-up photo booth.

As the Consortium of Anesthesiology Patient Safety and Experiential Learning (CAPSEL) Simulation Program Director, Dr. Rob Isaak noted: “We wanted to promote easier communication about our work experiences to provide the support persons of our anesthesia providers a better understanding of what we do at work. We believe that the wellness of our clinicians is directly related to the well-being of their family and close friends.”

The success of the Department’s first Family Anesthesia Experience Day is owed to many who contributed to its planning and facilitation, including faculty members Drs. Susie Martinelli, Rob Isaak, Brooke Chidgey, Kim Blasius, Liz Ross and Monika Nanda; resident Dr. Lacey Straube; CRNA Amy Hueske; and organizational supporters Lynn Craven and Fei Chen. Department Chair, Dr. David Zvara, reflected: “This educational format was among the most effective community outreach programs sponsored by our Department. Amongst all who made this event happen, we especially commend the efforts of Dr. Susie Martinelli and Dr. Rob Isaak.”