From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, February 12, 1970

Know your hospital
by Mrs. Johnnie Blackwood
Executive Secretary, Blount Memorial Hospital
Anesthesia department

The art and science of inducing anesthesia have advanced a long way since the discovery of ether, shortly before the middle of the 19th century. The administration of anesthetics has now taken an important place among the various services in modern hospitals. Induction of anesthesia is an important service in the hospital inasmuch as it is an essential factor in surgical, obstetric, and other procedures. Because of its effect on the future health of the patient, it has become a specialty in itself, necessitating special equipment as well as properly trained and qualified personnel.

The anesthesia department at Blount Memorial has the best of equipment, and our nurse anesthetists are trained to use the latest techniques and anesthetic drugs. The nurse anesthetist works under the direct supervision of the doctor when administering anesthesia to the patient. Monitoring equipment is used on most major and minor surgery and other cases of necessary. In case of a cardiac arrest, this equipment is already attached to the patient to relay the nature of the patient’s condition.

The nurse anesthetist assumes a large amount of responsibility. Not only is she working directly with the patient, she is responsible for the patient in the recovery room and is with the patient after surgery until they have been completely reated to the anesthesia administered while in surgery. She is also on call 24 hours a day.

At Blount Memorial Hospital, the anesthesia department is under the capable leadership of Miss Alberta Boggan, who has been employed with the hospital for approximately 15 years. She is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and a graduate of Charity Hospital School of Anesthesia at Charity Hospital, New Orleans, La. Miss Boggan opened the School of Anesthesia for nurse anesthetists at University of Alabama Medical Center where she was director for 10 years. She was also chief nurse anesthetist at Veterans Hospital for 1 1/2 years.

Mrs. William O’Byrne, assistant nurse anesthetist, is also a certified registered nurse anesthetist and a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Nurse Anesthetists. She was also supervisor of the anesthesia department at the University of Alabama Medical Center before coming to Blount Memorial. Mrs. O’Byrne has been employed with Blount Memorial for approximately 10 years.

Also working in the department is Mrs. T.W. LaRue, who has been trained to assist the anesthetist in the recovery room.