SGCMH CRNA named Clinical Instructor of the Year
Webster University presents the Clinical Instructor of the Year award to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the teaching of nurse anesthesia students in the clinical area. This award recognizes the commitment of individuals to the profession of nurse anesthesia and to the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesiology and result in high quality patient care.
The 2017 award recipient is Keeli Plati, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital for the past four years.
“I totally didn’t expect it,” Keeli said. “It’s not something the administration or clinical instructors pick. It’s voted on by the students. That’s the best part about it, because it comes straight from the people you’re teaching and guiding, and they found value in what they were being taught.”
To make the award sweeter still, is the fact that you must be nominated multiple years in a row.
“They don’t just give it the first time you’re nominated,” she explained. “They feel that’s not a good enough indication of your teaching ability. They want nominees quite a few years in a row to make sure you’re consistent with multiple students.”
SGCMH is a clinical site for the Webster University MS in Nurse Anesthesia program, of which the hospital has been affiliated with for over 10 years.
“We train first, second and third year graduate nurse anesthesia students,” said Rob Walsh, MBA, MS, PhD, CRNA. “SGCMH is one of over 15 clinical sites associated with Webster University, and the only clinical site that provides the student with clinical anesthesia experiences outside the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Many students have commented on their positive experiences at this site, especially the autonomy they receive and the diversity of clinical cases (general surgery, orthopedics, ENT, urology, and OB anesthesia).”
Keeli, herself, received clinical training at SGCMH.
“I had good teachers (Rob Walsh being one of them) and they put a lot of time and effort into training me,” Keeli said. “I got a lot of hands on experience and a lot of independent ability to practice and learn. I learned the most here (at SGCMH) and one other rural facility that I was at. I might not have been as busy, but I learned the most. That’s when it sinks in and it sticks.”
Having trained at SGCMH, Keeli is acutely aware of what her students are experiencing.
“I know what it was like to be a student here; what we expect of the students here; and what I was expected to do,” she said. “I hold my students to those same high standards.”
Keeli didn’t set out to be a teacher, but admits she likes it, especially in a rural setting.
“As a student, you don’t get to see this side of a hospital unless you specifically seek out a rural community to work,” she explained. “Most rural communities don’t take students because they’re so small, maybe they don’t think they have enough to offer or they’re not busy enough. I find it to be just the opposite. Here you have the ability to focus on your training. In bigger facilities, it’s just about productivity and cranking out patients. It’s not like that here. We get time to really focus on people, take care of them, and show different aspects of individual anesthetic care.”
Keeli, unfortunately missed the award ceremony.
“I was on call,” she said. “I did know I was nominated, but to be fair, they didn’t tell me I had won until the day before, probably because they wanted it to be a surprise. By that time, it really was too late to arrange coverage. I will cherish this honor, though.”
Rob Walsh had high praise for his former student.
“Keeli is an excellent teacher and clinical preceptor for the Webster University students,” he said. “As such, she is so very deserving of this award.”