Lauren Easterbrook, RN, BSN, from the Mayo Clinic Nurse Anesthesia Program recently was recognized by the APSF for her work on patient safety involving the creation of a video entitled “Improving Medication Handoff Practices Between Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Nurses and Anesthesia Providers.”
Question 1: What inspired you to undertake your project?
We can provide the best anesthesia in the world, but if there are breakdowns in communication across the perioperative period, then we have done a disservice to our patients. Anesthesia handoffs were a highlighted area where I could help improve patient care. The PACU nursing staff, anesthesia providers, and my doctoral project mentors were incredible to work with and champions for patient safety. I was inspired by each individual team’s desire to improve patient care and work collaboratively to do so. Nursing research practices focused on observation, patient centered care, and holistic health were what really helped me to create a project that was impactful for our patients and staff.
Question 2: What are your future plans for this work?
Modes of communication and information sharing change as health care technology evolves, and it is always evolving, forcing us to constantly evaluate the mistakes we make in handoff communications. I want to continue to work with nurses, APRNs, and physicians, to create projects that help improve patient care. We have formed a Handoff Task Force with people from all disciplines to create a safe handoff process across the Mayo enterprise.
Question 3: What are your future professional plans?
I intend to keep learning and seeking new opportunities for ways that we can improve our anesthesia practice. I would love the chance to work with multidisciplinary teams in perioperative medicine at Mayo Clinic and around the country.
My goal is to work with students in the Mayo Clinic Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice Program as they work on their own doctoral projects. It’s exciting to see the unique and impactful contributions these students are making to anesthesia research.
Question 4: Please share one good thing about the APSF Trainee Quality Improvement Program.
My favorite part about the APSF TQI Program was meeting the APSF board at the Boston AANA conference. I have met such inspiring anesthesia professionals through the TQI program, including Maria Van Pelt and Arnoley Abcejo, and hope to continue to collaborate with the APSF organization in future research projects.
Lauren Easterbrook is a doctorate student of Nurse Anesthesia Practice at the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Nurse Anesthesia Program in Rochester, Minnesota.
Lauren Easterbrook has no conflict of interest pertaining to this article.