California Association of Nurse Anesthetists
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CANA Member-Owner Spotlight

Darlene Falco,CRNA, MSN, DNP
Chief CRNA Kern Medical

Darlene Falco, CRNA, MSN, DNP, Chief CRNA Kern MedicalWhere do you currently practice?
I currently practice in Kern County, specifically Kern Medical. Kern Medical is a public 222-bed hospital and the area’s only trauma center.

What are your favorite cases or anesthesia specialty?
I don’t know that I really have a favorite case or specialty. I like a variety of cases. I do; however, enjoy providing anesthesia for neurosurgery because of the challenges it can offer as well as bariatric surgery.

What is the most rewarding part of being a CRNA?
Aside from the challenge of tailoring a successful anesthetic to patients with unique comorbidities, I feel privileged to care for patients who are vulnerable and anxious; patients who place their well-being into my hands.

What are your passions outside of work?
I love anything that involves being outside! I love hiking, running and being with my dogs. One of my greatest passions is riding my Harley Davidson across the country. I am also an avid classical music enthusiast.

Is there any research, thesis, practice projects, missions, or other anesthesia related work you would like to share with our community?
In pursuit of my DNP, I exhaustively researched patient satisfaction with anesthesia care. Many hospitals and surgery centers recognize that the patient perspective of anesthesia care serves as a quality improvement marker. Current practice; however, utilizes non-standardized objective measures to capture the subjective thoughts and values of our patients. This creates quite the dilemma for nurse anesthetists seeking to improve practice. In an attempt to reconcile this problem, I found it increasingly important to understand what makes up the patient perspective as well as discover what anesthetists could do to improve independently of objective measures. I wrote a journal article for the AANA (to be published in early 2018) where I talk about the topic in detail and disclose some surprising findings along with practical solutions for practice improvement.

Darlene Falco, CRNA, MSN, DNP, Chief CRNA Kern Medical

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