Ashton Heydt SRNA Scholarship Winner

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Bagmask.com 2020 Spring Anesthesia Scholarship

We’re pleased to announce that our scholarship committee has selected the winner of the 2020 BagMask.com Anesthesia Scholarship! This year’s applicants made it very difficult to choose a winner. Their writing of personal experiences and explaining why anesthesia is more than just “putting people to sleep and waking them up” exemplifies why our profession continues to grow with the brightest people in medicine. There were many impressive applicants with a total of 138 submissions this year representing 74 institutions. Applicants had to write a response to the question below in 500 words or less:

  • The public perception of Anesthesia is: all we do “is put people to sleep.”
  • Covid-19 is causing Anesthesia providers to step out of the OR and administer care in capacities not often recognized in our profession. How would you explain to someone that the practice of anesthesia entails more than putting our patient to sleep and waking them up?

We would like to thank Odyssey Staffing for sponsoring this Spring Scholarship and Stethoscope.com for the donation of stethoscopes for our runners-up. We also would like to thank our Scholarship Committee for volunteering their time to helping select the finalists! 

This year’s $2,500 Anesthesia Scholarship winner is Ashton Heydt SRNA. Ashton is enrolled at Frank J Tornetta School of Anesthesia at Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and is scheduled to graduate in November 2020.

Ashton’s Essay:

SRNA Scholarship CRNA School
            Ashton Heydt SRNA Scholarship Winner

Efficient, stern, self-controlled, gentle, and practically perfect in every way; these words are likened to the fictional character Mary Poppins, who charges a sense of wonder from those around her. Anesthesia professionals are the “Mary Poppins” of the health care community. As Mary Poppins is known to all in the magical world, anesthesia is known to all health disciplines. We increase understanding, decrease anxiety, and establish a rapport. The public perception that all we do is put people to sleep and wake them up demonstrates our magical abilities to create this illusion.

The public is correct in that the goal of anesthesia is to provide a controlled, but temporary loss of awareness and sensation for medical procedures. However, like Mary Poppins, hidden in our large floral motif carpetbag, also known as our bag of tricks, we have many unknowns. Prior to ever “going to sleep,” we have already individualized plans and tailored them to optimize one’s medical problems and personal health. Preoperative health tests and risk assessments have been evaluated, and patient education provided.

Although we do not carry packets of throat lozenges or bottles of cherry red medicine in our magical carpetbags, we instead carry our knowledge of medicine. A thorough review of medication history and patient medical problems is completed prior to each anesthetic administration. “A spoonful of sugar” is not administered at random, instead we have meticulously calculated medication dosages based upon age, weight, and comorbidities. Personalized anesthetic plans have been devised based upon this review to provide the safest and most effective anesthesia.

As Mary Poppins remains with the Banks children “until the wind changes,” the anesthesia professional is with you through the entire perioperative setting until you are discharged from post-anesthesia care. Intraoperatively, after you have “gone to sleep” we are continuously scanning, placing invasive and noninvasive monitoring devices, positioning, measuring intravenous fluids, prescribing and administering medications, and obtaining laboratory values. Each piece of information is used to dictate our small self-controlled changes we make to provide a smooth anesthesia course and allow you to believe “you just wake up.”

It is with a little bit of magic that anesthesia professionals offer the public the “art of anesthesia” and allow for that continued illusion and wonder. However, within our bag of tricks we carry countless responsibilities. It is those unknown responsibilities that make us the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious providers we are, and allow you to believe that “all we do is put people to sleep.”

BagMask.com’s Upcoming 2020 Fall Anesthesia Scholarship Information

We’re already working on our next scholarship and are excited to try a new format! Look for more information about the next one sometime this fall, and be sure to follow us on social media and join our mailing list so you can keep up to date on future Scholarship information and other great Anesthesia Career Resources!

Eligibility for Upcoming Scholarship Entries
  • SAA
  • SRNA
  • Anesthesia Resident
  • Anesthesia Fellow
  • Fourth year Medical Student that has matched to anesthesia
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