BEVIN STRICKLAND ’20 DNP, who graduated this August from UNCG’s Nurse Anesthesia Program, worked last spring in the emergency department of Mount Sinai Queens in New York City. The city was the nation’s hot spot for the virus, and she was compelled to help.
She cared for the critically ill by using ultrasound technology to get IV access for patients, managing critical cardiac drips, and even intubating patients. Her creativity and critical thinking were skills developed during coursework and experiential learning at UNCG.
“My ICU and CRNA training prepared me to care for patients with knowledge and skills that the other emergency department nurses didn’t have. The didactic education and clinical rotations I had gave me the confidence to support the Mount Sinai staff.”
After her summer clinical in High Point, she has been home studying for her anesthesia boards – which she passed in late September. “I definitely needed some decompression time after New York City.”
She laments that wearing face coverings became politically divisive. “In New York City, wearing masks was a given and there wasn’t a single public business that you could go into without having a mask on,” she says.
“My ICU and CRNA training prepared me to care for patients with knowledge and skills that the other emergency department nurses didn’t have.”—Bevin Strickland ’20 DNP
Returning to Guilford County was bracing. “I was shocked and disappointed to see how slack it was here. That improved a little in August, but there are still so many people that seem not only noncompliant, but defensive about not wearing masks.”
A single mother with two sons, Strickland entered the nursing field after 15 years in banking and recruiting. The John Joseph Rall, Jr. Endowed Nursing Scholarship at UNCG allowed her to embody the University’s motto of “Service.” She will serve as a nurse anesthetist at High Point Regional Hospital.
She also serves in the Army Reserves. She enlisted two years ago. In time of need, her nurse anesthetist skills will be used by Uncle Sam.
Her long-range goals? Contract assignments overseas where she is needed most, on a mercy ship or with organizations like Doctors Without Borders.
Her advice to her sons is the same advice she has for all students: Get involved.
“Don’t just watch. Be part of the change.”
By Mike Harris