One of the runners ups in this year’s BagMask.com Anesthesia Scholarship contest is Jordan Holloway MD. Jordan is a PGY-1 at The Ohio State University Wexner and is scheduled to finish in 2024. Her winning essay in the 2020 BagMask.com Scholarship Competition has won her a ADC 619 ADSCOPE-lite Stethoscope fromStethoscope.com.
Once intent on becoming a pediatrician, I told a friend training for nurse anesthesia that I was glad someone wanted to “put people to sleep.” That statement became ironic the moment I decided to become an anesthesiologist – a day I remember vividly.
Completing an anesthesiology elective, I had set to spend the day in the “tonsil room” – a quick turn-around room where I could get hands-on experience as a medical student. We entered our patient’s room, a young girl with Turner’s syndrome in for a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, and I picked up bits and pieces while the practitioner spoke. With previous heart surgeries and familiarity with the operative environment, both were visibly nervous – the patient hiding behind her apprehensive mom, clenched white fists on the leg of her pants. As the CRNA spoke to her mother, I hid behind my hands and peaked out at the patient, who jumped back behind her mom and across to the other side. We played a game of hide and seek for the next ten minutes while the CRNA reassured the patient’s mom that the anesthetic for this procedure held much less risk than the patient’s previous surgeries, that she would be with the patient every step of the way, and that the patient was in good hands. Meanwhile, playing hide-and-seek, the patient went from wide-eyed, refusing to leave mom’s side to smiling and playing across the room. Soon after, we rolled back – mom comforted and our patient much more relaxed.
Surgery is terrifying. Patients feel out of control, anxious their lives rest another’s hands, and worried about what will happen if something goes wrong. They put their trust in the individuals taking care of them – the surgeon to fix their state of disease and the anesthesiologist to ensure their comfort and safety throughout. There is a sacred and indelible bond between the patient and anesthesiologist – often a stranger until day of surgery– that the patient will be taken care of, and the anesthesiologist will be there for them every step of the way.
The conception that anesthesiologists “put people to sleep” is true but far from comprehensive. Behind the understanding of anesthesia lies a calling to maintain patients comfortable and safe during their scariest moments. Anesthesiologists advocate for their patients before, during, and after surgery. They calm anxieties – be it medically or with a reassuring smile. They speak up for sleeping patients who cannot speak for themselves, ensuring their best care. They check on their patients after procedures to guarantee they are resting comfortably and doing well prior to discharge. They practice in critical care units where their sickest patients rest both before and after procedures, able to address their most critical needs and sit down with families living through some of their hardest days. Yes – anesthesiologists “put people to sleep,” but they are also the mental and physical health advocates a patient so desperately needs on their scariest days – which is why I am proud to train to become one.
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
- Anesthesia Resident
- Anesthesia Fellow
- Fourth year Medical Student that has matched to anesthesia