During the last year, our nation has undergone some of the most turbulent and emotional swings in healthcare to date. We’ve seen major medical facilities close, pandemic stretch resources beyond their limits, bedside providers hailed as heroes while struggling with physical illness and mental strain. Virtual meetings are the new norm, and everyone gets to take part in the operating room experience by wearing a mask all day.
Through this, all the Graduate Programs in Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Wesleyan have thrived. Our previous experience with virtual education allowed a seamless transition for our students. The clinical component experienced some changes with the addition of COVID-19 screenings and later policy concerns leading to schedule reshaping. As graduation nears, we’d like to update the alumni on some of our clinical sites.
The longstanding GPNA clinical site in Shreveport, Louisiana has undergone several recent transformations. Over the last seven years, healthcare systems in Louisiana have experienced significant change with a shift towards private-public partnerships. The expansive system of safety net hospitals has been consolidated with existing facilities taking on new responsibilities. However, the top-quality education of nurse anesthesia residents has been a constant in this time of change.
The primary facility, which will always be “LSU” in our hearts, is now known as Ochsner LSU Academic Campus. In October of 2018, the Ochsner Health System partnered with the LSU Health Sciences Center to grow and develop healthcare in the Ark-La-Tex. This partnership brought new opportunities and services to the former state hospital to include Louisiana’s first pediatric trauma program, Louisiana’s first Joint Commission-certified Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center, the opening of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at the Saint Mary’s Campus and a cutting edge Hybrid OR suite at the Monroe campus.
The facility currently serves as the primary site for 17 residents with others rotating through for specialty rotations and selective exposures. The diverse patient population allows them to provide anesthesia care across the continuum. As the regional tertiary care center, the residents are commonly found providing anesthesia for complex orthopedic, neurosurgical, traumatic and oral-maxillofacial cases.
For cardiac experience, the residents rotate to nearby Christus Highland. This change of pace also allows them a perspective of the private practice world. Obstetric cases are completed during rotations at the Ochsner LSU Monroe campus, this also allows the students to experience community-based anesthesia. Leadership at the site is provided by a pair of Texas Wesleyan graduates. Nathan Disotell is the CRNA manager and Jason Jarrett is the clinical coordinator. This diverse site attracts students from throughout the region and many remain in the area after graduation, returning to their home communities to practice. The geographic location brings residents not only from Louisiana but also Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas.