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CRNA Month: Q&A with Carey Simon, MSN, CRNA

Jan 3, 2023Library

Q: WHAT/WHO INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE NURSING AS A CAREER? 

A: My mother and I used always to love watching surgery and medical shows on TV together. Everything was always so exciting!  Nursing was a way to blend my love of science, the art of caring and medical services together to help people get healthier. 

Q: WHAT/WHO INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE AN ADVANCED DEGREE IN NURSING? 

A: Five years into my nursing career, I was thirsty for additional knowledge and information. I wanted to understand and apply my knowledge in an advanced practice nurse position, so I pursued additional graduate education and loved it. After following multiple Advanced Practice Nurses in different subspecialties, I decided training as a Nurse Anesthetist was the best fit. in 2008, I enrolled in the program at Rush College of Nursing. 

Q: GIVEN YOUR SETTING AND ROLE, WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR PRIMARY ACTIVITIES ON A TYPICAL DAY? 

A: We review most charts in advance of surgery, which includes interpretation of diagnostic tests such as X Rays, EKGs, Echocardiograms; lab tests, and lots of reports for patients who have received medical care on the Western Slope. 

I administer anesthesia for surgeries endoscopic procedures (EGDs and Colonoscopies), and epidurals for labor pains. the CRNAs at Delta Health provides a full scope of anesthesia services for surgical procedures at Delta Health, including advanced nerve blocks to alleviate pain and suffering both during and after surgery. 

Q: WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES THUS FAR IN YOUR ADVANCED NURSING CAREER?

A: I’ve worked in so many different hospitals — the biggest challenge was to provide anesthesia for patients who likely wouldn’t do well after surgery. These experiences have shaped my desire to work in facilities that do mostly routine procedures that have positive outcomes. 

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS FOR ONGOING LEARNING?

A: I’m considering pursuing additional advanced training to treat chronic and non-surgical pain. 

Q: Where are you from originally and how did you end up on the Western Slope? 

A: I grew up in Dallas, Texas. My first job as an RN was at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver on the old 9th avenue campus. I worked there for 8 years prior to CRNA training. Since then, I’ve lived in Chicago, IL; Racine, WI, Thornton, CO; Appleton, WI, Huntsville, TX, Delta and Montrose, CO. On my second day at Delta Hospital, I knew this would be the place to work forever and the best area to raise our family. 

Q: Tell us more about your specialty and being a CRNA.  

A: Being a CRNA is a complex blend of science, pharmacology, anatomy, physiology and knowledge of surgical procedures. I love it every day; it’s the best thing in the world as an Advanced Practice Nurse. 

Q: What is your care philosophy when it comes to your patients? 

A: My professional compass points north, grounded in the values of compassion, empathy, understanding and kindness. I engage every patient as though they were family members and provide the best care possible in that scenario. 

Q: Why rural healthcare and what do you love most about it? 

A: My patients are the best. I love hearing stories of their lives, family and friends. 

Q: What do you love about working at Delta Health and with the team here?

A: I truly believe we provide excellent health care in our facility. I trust everyone I work with to maintain the highest level of personal and professional standards that make this facility the best medical facility on the western slope. Our surgeons are excellent, too, and really care about patients behind the scenes. I am very proud to work at Delta Health. 

Q: What made you decide to become a CRNA? Tell us the story. 

A: After following multiple Advanced Practice Nurses for multiple days, my experience in the operating room was the best and most fulfilling. To this day, I still find it amazing how many things we piece together on a day-to-day basis just to do something as simple as sedation for eye surgeries. 

Q: Tell us more about your home life: any hobbies, or things you enjoy doing on the weekend?

A: Family, children, pets? My wife, Julia, and I have been together for 17 years and married for 12. We have two beautiful children, Isaac and Mia who are 8 and 6. My family is the light of my life. Della, our Golden Retriever, is 2 and loves to sleep and chase Prairie Dogs. We also care for ten Magical Chickens of Larkspur Lane that frequently donate eggs to my co-workers. 

When I’m not at work, I love a good DIY home project, gardening, archery hunting and fishing.

To learn more about the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists at Delta Health, visit https://deltahealthco.org/surgical/.

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