May 9, 2015
Yesterday was hospital day at Piedmont Henry. We do mostly special needs patients there, people who can’t be treated in a conventional dental office. I got there at 6:30 a.m. and was done by 10:20–a short day. Kolleen spent several hours getting everything done administratively, and Megan packed up everything we needed without us having to call her to bring a single item from the office.
I was amazed once again by how quickly Carlee had all of the setups ready by the time we got started at 7:30. Behind that mask is a very busy mother who left her very active three year old Baylor and precocious one year old daughter with their grandmother to assist me.
Working in the mouth is a very small and crowded area. An oral endotracheal tube going down into the trachea through the mouth can make for a miserable day. That’s why I’m grateful for anesthetists like Andrew Bracken who have the skills to go through the nose instead. Andrew has done the majority of my cases at Piedmont Henry since he arrived from UAB in 2008, and has made my cases go smoother because of his anesthesia skills. Although I anticipated a difficult airway yesterday, the intubation didn’t take him 30 seconds.
He and his wife are expecting their first child in August. I predict his son’s first words won’t be “Mama” or “Dada” but “War Eagle!!!”
Another outstanding CRNA at Piedmont Henry that I’ve had the privilege of working with is Ginger Hamilton. Ginger came to our hospital shortly after Andrew and has always accommodated me with nasal intubations, too, so naturally she’s golden in my eyes, also.
I was sorry to learn that in a few months she will be leaving Piedmont Henry to go to the hospital over in Griffin. She lives in Griffin, and her commute will only be about five minutes! Translation: More time with the three kids. The folks in Spalding County are getting an outstanding CRNA.
When the cases are over, Carlee, Andrew, Ginger, and I drive off for a fun weekend. But the parents or caregivers of special needs patients have a job that’s 24/7, 365 days a year. They rarely get a break or day off. If you have the opportunity, offer a helping hand.