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CRNAs vital to MRH&C operation

For people who live in rural areas of the country, access to medical care is vital to their health. That is especially true when it comes to emergency care.
Mobridge Regional Hospital and Clinics provides a wide variety of health care services, including 24-hour anesthesiology service. The facility has been able to offer those services for more than 20 years.
The week of Jan. 20 through Jan. 26 is National Certified Registered Anesthetists Week, a celebration of those who provide vital services in surgery and in the emergency room.
A CRNA provides anesthesia service in the operating room, including general and regional anesthesia. They are always present for any situation where the patient needs anesthesia. CRNA work with obstetric cases, providing pain management to mothers in labor or need C-sections. The CRNA is present during all births to monitor the baby and provide respiratory services if necessary. They assist the primary care provider in both the operating and emergency rooms.
They provide pain management in services such as spinal taps and regional pain blocks for general surgeries and are crucial in providing service during other procedures such as colonoscopies.
In the emergency room they are vital to the emergency team providing general anesthetic services but also intubate critical patients and provide sedating services to aid the physician in caring for trauma patients.
If a nurse has a particularly difficult IV situation, CRNAs will assist them.
MRH&C has 24-hour, seven day a week, 365 day a year services with two CNRA on staff.
Wayne Johnson and Holly Lashmet provide those services for the facility.
Johnson got a taste of the anesthesia practice while in the Air Force. He went on to get his nursing degree at Eastern Arizona College and his CNRA degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
He worked with Arizona Indian Health Services and at other medical facilities across the country. Before coming to Mobridge, he worked at Shenandoah, Iowa and before that in Omaha, Neb. He has been in Mobridge for three years.
Lashmet got her degree at Kansas University Medical School and worked in Falls City, Neb., for seven years before coming to Mobridge. She has been here just more than a year.
Either Johnson or Lashmet are present for all emergency or operating room procedures. Johnson said they also have telemedical services to assist in particularly complicated cases.
“This is a team effort. We all work together for the sake of the patient,” he said.
Johnson said when he was teaching, he always stressed to students the importance of having a strong background at a metropolitan facility if they wished to work in rural healthcare. In rural healthcare, one never knows what can come through the door.
“We want to be able to handle every situation that comes down the pipe,” he said.
Johnson was on a temporary assignment in Bismarck when he heard about the job opening at MRH&C. He visited the facility and spoke with the administration. That was three years ago.
He said he and his wife love the community. He has a classic car collection and they enjoy cruising the area in one of his many classics.
Lashmet said she likes having more time off working at MRH&C than she had before.
“I really like the community and hospital,” she said. “I like everything about it.”
When she is not working, she is riding her Can-Am Spider motorcycle and looks forward to the warmer months so she can enjoy cruising the area.
– Katie Zerr –