Welcome to the Student Health and Wellness website! My name is Kelly Gallant, the current FY19 student representative, coming from Northeastern University. I am currently in my second year starting clinical, so I can completely relate to the stress of everything being new, going from proficient to beginner, and near-constant studying. I would like to start off with the most important and critical resource—the AANA Peer Assistance helpline—available at (800) 654-5167. If you find yourself or a colleague struggling with drugs or alcohol it is imperative to help, as it may save a life.
As Google Scholar constantly reminds me, "we stand on the shoulders of giants"
A little about myself—I am not your typical “wellness” person. I loathe running. I serendipitously stumbled upon wellness after nursing school. I entered directly into a doctoral program, which was an interesting and highly stressful experience. Imagine week three as a new nurse, sitting around discussing transcendental idealism and Kant. I was in WAY over my head. I discovered over time I was not coping well, with no free time and no sleep. One of my cohort members was actually studying wellness and cognition, and I STILL did not understand how unwell I was!
I eventually made it to the dissertation phase, studying caregivers of those with pulmonary hypertension. As part of the process, I reviewed the literature on wellness, interviewed these individuals, and analyzed how they embraced wellness. Their results helped me complete and defend that dissertation, as well as substantially increase my own quality of life. Huge themes were finding time for self-care, appreciating time periods of good health, the importance of relationships and spirituality, and community interdependence… aka all the things I was NOT doing for myself. I began to live a little more purposefully at that point—appreciating everything, spending more quality time with family, going to Mass, swimming, going on long walks. This is all great, but the difficulty comes with execution. I think nearly everyone understands what makes them well, it is just incredibly difficult to find the time. I cannot express how important it is to find the time. Being a SRNA is temporary, and you must keep yourself healthy to see it through!
To be honest, I am struggling with balance between clinical and didactic work. This program is markedly different from a PhD. It is important to compromise- set aside a pre-established time for friends and family and DO NOT feel guilty about not studying. Allow yourself to go on the one mile walk instead of the six mile walk. I always sleep in on Sundays. Try to be a cohesive cohort of SRNAs—your peers are your most valuable resource! They understand everything you are going through, unlike family, and can support you or find help if you are struggling. SRNAs tend to be extremely competitive Type-A individuals, but try to set aside the competition and support your colleagues. Find support in family, friends, and mentors. As Google Scholar constantly reminds me, “we stand on the shoulders of giants.”
There are some helpful resources/links below, but if you need anything at all I am ALWAYS available to help, except on my Sunday sleep-in days (just kidding!). My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will do everything in my power to help. Being an SRNA is all about endurance; if there is anything I can do to help your marathon progress I would be honored.
If you have tips, tricks, or suggestions that you'd like to share, or need additional resources or ideas, please contact us at wellness@AANA.com. I look forward to the year ahead!
It's not your imagination - student nurse anesthetists are stressed! Information and resources for what you can do about it:
- "A Study in De-Stressing," The American Nurse, November 19, 2013. Article features participation by Janet Dewan, CRNA, MS, chair, FY2013 AANA Health & Wellness committee.
- CRNAs and Stress 2011 research "Stress and Burnout in Nurse Anesthesia"
- Perceptions of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists on Factors Affecting Their Transition from Student, December 2017, AANA Journal, December 2017
- Dealing with Stress: A Student Nurse Anesthetist's Perspective
- Student Stress A Question of Balance
- Six Wellness Tips for completing your SRNA program
- The Power of Balance in the Aspiring Nurse Anesthetists, January 2016 AANA NewsBulletin Student News
- Healthy Eating Tips for SRNAs- September 2016 AANA NewsBulletin Wellness Milestones article
- AANA's Physical Well-Being - practicing good health habits can often reduce stress and the physical and emotional symptoms too. Also see Emotional and Mental Well-Being.
Health & Wellness Contacts
- Kelly Gallant, PhD, BSN, RN, SRNA
Student Representative, Health and Wellness Committee
- Patricia Parolari, MS, CRNA
Chair, AANA Health & Wellness Committee
- Peer Assistance in Your State
- Peer Assistance Advisors
- AANA Peer Assistance Helpline
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Anesthetists in Recovery (AIR)
- Julie Rice, BA
Manager AANA Health, Wellness, and Peer Assistance Programs
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Links for SRNAs
- AANA Student Homepage
- AANA Foundation Student Page
- AANA Employment Resources
- Health and Wellness and Peer Assistance
- Faculty and Student Resources
- Getting Help for Yourself and Others
- State Health and Wellness
- Student Members on AANA Committees - Volunteer Opportunities (member log-in required)
- Substance Abuse and Anesthesia: Why It Is Your Problem and What Student Nurse Anesthetists Are Doing About It, November 2010 Peer Assistance News article
- Wellness Links - see the Health and Wellness homepage for links from each category: Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Emotional/Mental Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, Workplace Wellness