Welcome to the Student Wellness portion of the AANA website! My name is Sara Wilkinson, BSN, RN, CCRN. I am a student at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, in the nurse anesthesia program. I am proud to be your AANA Student Health and Wellness Representative for Fiscal Year 2018 (September 2017– August 2018).
"Being outside and traveling helps remind me that the world is a big beautiful place."
A little about me, I love to run, bike and hike. Growing up as a Northwest kid, I could either go skiing in the mountains or walk on the beach, depending on which way I turned my car for the day. I love the outdoors and would rather spend my time exploring new trails and areas than almost anything.
For mental health, I enjoy playing my harp and piano. Playing and listening to music has been a great boost and lets me relax for a few minutes. I have friends who listen to certain composers during their study time to help them focus.
I believe in the importance of keeping a healthy balance between mind, body, and soul. I have seen many students STUDY, study, study; only to either have health issues or need mental health support. While we all recognize the need to learn and develop our skills, it is important to take time to relax and take a break. I have seen students fail, not because they didn’t have the knowledge, but because they have gone beyond their endurance and developed other problems.
It is important to develop a support system and find time for small, pleasant breaks. A run with my dog along different trails or walking on the trails near the Mississippi River give me a fresh perspective and much needed recharge. I would love to hear about what you like to do to relieve stress or what is fun for you to do to take a break. Many of us are looking for different ideas.
Finally, I would like to suggest utilizing many of the fine resources that AANA has developed for you, linked below. SRNAs have heavy responsibilities, including a significant amount of stress to manage and information to absorb. Be reassured that others have faced the same challenges you are facing, and that there is an end to the "student" portion of SRNA.
If you have tips, tricks, or suggestions that you'd like to share, or need additional resources or ideas, please contact us at wellness@AANA.com. I look forward to the year ahead!
It's not your imagination - student nurse anesthetists are stressed! Information and resources for what you can do about it:
- "A Study in De-Stressing," The American Nurse, November 19, 2013. Article features participation by Janet Dewan, CRNA, MS, chair, FY2013 AANA Health & Wellness committee.
- CRNAs and Stress 2011 research "Stress and Burnout in Nurse Anesthesia"
- Dealing with Stress: A Student Nurse Anesthetist's Perspective
- Student Stress A Question of Balance
- Six Wellness Tips for completing your SRNA program
- The Power of Balance in the Aspiring Nurse Anesthetists, January 2016 AANA NewsBulletin Student News
- Healthy Eating Tips for SRNAs- September 2016 AANA NewsBulletin Wellness Milestones article
- AANA's Physical Well-Being - practicing good health habits can often reduce stress and the physical and emotional symptoms too. Also see Emotional and Mental Well-Being.
Health & Wellness Contacts
- LT Colleen Spiri, CCRN, NC, USN
Student Representative, Health and Wellness Committee
- Michael Neft, DNP, MHA, CRNA, FNAP, FAAN
Chair, AANA Health & Wellness Committee
- Peer Assistance in Your State
- Peer Assistance Advisors
- AANA Peer Assistance Helpline
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Hotline
- Anesthetists in Recovery (AIR)
- Julie Rice, BA
Manager AANA Health, Wellness, and Peer Assistance Programs
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Links for SRNAs
- AANA Student Homepage
- AANA Foundation Student Page
- Health and Wellness and Peer Assistance
- Faculty and Student Resources
- Getting Help for Yourself and Others
- State Health and Wellness
- Student Members on AANA Committees - Volunteer Opportunities (member log-in required)
- Substance Abuse and Anesthesia: Why It Is Your Problem and What Student Nurse Anesthetists Are Doing About It, November 2010 Peer Assistance News article
- Wellness Links - see the Health and Wellness homepage for links from each category: Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Emotional/Mental Well-Being, Physical Well-Being, Workplace Wellness