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Symposium set for summer

Graduate nurse anesthesia students learn successful ultrasound techniques for upper torso regional nerve blocks using a simulator.

Texas Wesleyan’s nurse anesthesia students are getting excited about the upcoming Simulation Symposium.

The Wesleyan nurse anesthesia graduate program plans to host the four-day summer training program for the second year in a row, according to Mitchele Ardigo, assistant professor/simulation laboratory.

“They gain a lot of skill during those four days that they wouldn’t get throughout the year,” Ardigo said. “They get their regional anesthesia skill, ultrasound skills, and central line placement.”

According to Ardigo, this year’s symposium, which will be held on campus from June 17 to June 20, will encompass students from 11 states.

Ryan Duplechin, first-year GPNA student, wrote in an e-mail he is looking forward to the Simulation Symposium because he is excited about gaining hands-on experience with anesthesia equipment.

His first year as a Wesleyan GPNA student has been demanding, but rewarding, because he has been productive, Duplechin wrote.

“I am driven by my curiosity in the mechanics of human physiology,” Duplechin wrote. “Anesthesia training is the best avenue for a nurse to approach the pinnacle of understanding in this realm of science.”

The most challenging part of the program is staying well-rested and sharp, Duplechin wrote.

“Success in the program demands more of my time than anything else ever has before,” Duplechin wrote. “With a high volume of knowledge and understanding, comes long hours spent in my books and notes.”

Matthew Manley, a first-year GPNA student agrees that the time constraints can be difficult. Balancing his family and the first year of the GPNA program have been tough, he wrote in an email.

“The most difficult part of the program during the first year is maintaining the drive to focus on class work when there is so much else that could be done,” Manley wrote.

Like Duplechin, Manley is looking forward to the Symposium.

“I do not know what it will be like but ready for the chance to learn everything possible about regional anesthesia,” Manley wrote.

Josh Lancaster a first year GPNA student, said his first year has been like a rollercoaster ride – learning each professor’s teaching styles, how to develop study groups and how to study accordingly.

“At first it was a little tough getting our feet wet with the material, then developing ways of studying,” Lancaster said. “Once we’ve gotten together with a good solid group, it has made things a lot easier.”

Lancaster said he is absolutely looking forward to the Summer Symposium.

“We’re learning a little bit about that right now in our assessment class, so I think being able to put the knowledge we learned to practice on mannequins will be great,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster said he gets by with the support of his wife Amy Lancaster, an intensive care unit nurse at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center.

“It’s kind of like a dream of mine to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist,” Lancaster said. “Being able to come out at the end and know I was able to accomplish my goal and dream of being a CRNA is probably what drives me the most.”


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Symposium set for summer