A Day in the Life

A Day in the Life of Brian Torres, CRNA, DNP

As a CRNA in the department and faculty with the Nurse Anesthesia Program my work week is split between time spent in the OR and time spent at the Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing. To get the best sense of what a day-in-the-life is like I’ve provided a version of each!

OR Day:

04:30 – Alarm goes off, immediately hit snooze.

04:39 – Alarm goes off, immediately hit snooze.

04:48 – Alarm goes off again, begrudgingly get out of bed and head downstairs to feed the dogs and get the coffee going.

04:45-05:30 – Coffee, review cases and patients for the day, read up on current events, chat with Steven about the day, dinner plans, etc. Get dogs out for a quick walk around the block.

05:30-06:30 – Clean up and head to the hospital. Depending on the weather and the day, I either ride my Vespa, take the #8 bus, or sometimes I will drive the car. We live in the Shaw neighborhood, which is about 2.2 miles from door to door.

06:30a-23:30a – It’s a Wednesday so first I need to set up my OR, but often I am working with one of our SRNAs and they have everything already set up! I head to Grand Rounds in the Wohl Auditorium, grab another cup of coffee, get a big warm hug from Maureen Arends (Mo give the absolute best hugs, she is the best!!) and a bite to eat and settle in for some current science or professional development.

Clinically, I have been working primarily in Pod 3 (these days that’s CT/Vascular/Cath Lab) since I started (back in 2013). I love Pod 3 and all the people in it…it truly feels like home. I am currently working the 16-hour clinical shift (07:00-23:00) and because of that I have been doing cases outside of Pod 3 more often. I have really been enjoying getting into the other Pods and doing cases that I have not routinely done for a long time. It’s been especially fun to take over long TIVA cases and figure out how to wake them up most efficiently (thank you EPIC TIVA simulator i.e. stanpumpr.io)! I spend a decent amount of my clinical shifts starting out in the Cath Lab where we provide anesthesia for pacemaker insertions, EP ablations, TEEs, TAVRs, and a variety of vascular procedures.

If I am working with an SRNA that day, we will go over any additional details or plans for our anesthetic and touch-base with the rest of the team. I love it when I get to work with the SRNAs. If the SRNA is early in their clinical training it’s so fun to bring the topics we lecture on in the classroom to life in real-world applications, to see them putting all the pieces together. If the SRNA I’m working with is further along in their training, it is so rewarding to see their growth and how they demonstrate their competence. I am always impressed with their drive, dedication, and professionalism, we have the very best SRNAs in the country!

23:30-00:00 – Get home, shut down the house, and get to bed as soon as possible. It’s been a long day!

College Day:

05:30 – Alarm goes off, immediately hit snooze.

05:39 – Alarm goes off again, I get up.

05:45-06:30 – Coffee, review calendar for the day, reflect on any scheduled meetings or lectures coming up, read up on current events, chat with Steven about the day, dinner plans, etc.

06:30-07:30 – Head to Tower Grove Park for a walk, a full lap around the park ends up being about 3.6 miles and takes anywhere from 55-65 minutes depending on the pace. I love starting my day out this way and do it whenever I can.

07:30-08:00 – Clean up and head to Barnes-Jewish College’s Goldfarb School of Nursing. Again, I will moped in if the weather is good otherwise, it’s the #8 bus or the car. The college is located on the same campus as the medical school and Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

08:00-17:00 – Get to work as a member of the Nurse Anesthesia Program faculty at Barnes-Jewish College (I also serve as the assistant director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program). I spend 3-4 days per week at the college and my workload at the college is highly varied from day to day. Depending on the term (spring, summer, or fall) I will be teaching a variety of classes, they include: Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Anesthesia, Basic Principles of Anesthesia #2, Advanced Pharmacology and Anesthesia, and Clinical Correlations Seminar. Our program offers a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (a clinical doctorate that focuses on the translation of science into clinical practice).

My days at the college are structured based on the following: college committee meetings, anesthesiology department meetings, meetings with faculty & students, course lectures, and course simulations. When I am not in meetings or teaching, I am usually spending time working on aspects of the academic program operations, grading exams or papers, or updating my lectures and exams.

No day is the same at the college or in the OR, I consider myself very lucky in this way. For me, the dynamic quality of both roles provides me with a sense of variation that keeps me on my toes and always learning something new.

17:00-17:30 – Wrap up things at the college including thinking about what needs to get done the next day. Head home to see Steven and the fur kids! We have two dogs (Fox Hound and Miniature Pincher) and a cat.

17:30-18:30 – Time to decompress. For me this means cooking dinner. I love cooking and how it requires my attention but also gives this time where I have a fun and rewarding task where my brain can sort through some of the things it’s grappling with.

18:30-19:30 – We have dinner and catch up on the latest with one another, our friends and families, and of course the household operations, etc!

19:30-21:00 – After dinner we load the dishwasher and head to the living room for some couch time with the fur kids. We typically watch the local or national news followed by either a series that has caught our interest or for some light entertainment, American Ninja Warrior or The Weakest Link or The Amazing Race!

21:00 – It’s bedtime, lock up and shut down the house and lights out till tomorrow where I anticipate the first task of everyday…hitting the snooze button at least once or twice!