A Day in the Life

Day in the Life: Abby Hughes-Strange

5:45a – My alarm goes off! If I give myself any extra time than the bare minimum, I will snooze and then wake up too late. I have found that 30 minutes is the exact amount of time I need to get up and out the door. I take a minute or two after the alarm goes off to take some deep breaths and do a mental check-in to get ready for the day. I let my dog outside, make coffee and I’m out the door. My family is usually still asleep by the time I leave the house at 6:15.  

A glamorous selfie of me at my parking spot on this day with the hospital behind me. And, my shameless plug to recruit anyone to the Progress call pool! Look how close you can park! Take call from home! Get called in ~ 30% of the time! Make more money! Right off highway 40, just minutes from Chesterfield! Contact me for more information!! 

6:35a – I arrive at work, walk in, set up the OR room, and chat with the staff. We have a great small team at PWH. The anesthesia department at PWH is 6 full-time CRNAs and 6 anesthesiologists, some of whom are solely Progress and others that split their time. Our awesome former chief, Chak Lattanand, is now a 50% PWH MD and our loss is the department’s gain as he takes on the role of vice-chair for clinical operations. Isabella Riordan is our new chief and we are so glad she is here! We also have the hardest working anesthesia tech in St. Charles County, Sue McHugh. We are so grateful she is part of the team at Progress.  

7:00a – Off to the OR!  It’s a total knee ortho day.  We do a lot of orthopedics, general surgery, gyn, GU, and we have a new group of neuro back surgeons. We also have 2 GI rooms. There were just under 1000 deliveries at Progress last year, so c-sections are fairly common too. I love the variety of cases that we do here! All of my cases today are spinals. The CRNAs do most of the spinals here.  

11:30a – Lunch time! I usually eat in the cafeteria and join any pre/post, OR or GI staff that are eating down there. It is nice to eat with a different group every day.

3:15p My cases are done for the day and I get to head out. I am an 8 hour CRNA. We have 10 and 12 hour shifts as well. We have early and late days as 8s also, and my out times vary widely depending on staff vacations, daily case volume, and number assignment. I really love it when I can get home by 4:00 because…  

Me with my personal trainer Sam and spotter Stella! 

4:00p – This is my brief time at home alone! If I get this time, I will do a 20 minute workout on Apple Fitness Plus (non sponsored!!). I know there are some huge Peloton people out there, but if you already own an apple watch I highly recommend Apple Fitness. It is $10/month and has so many workouts, a lot of which you don’t need any additional equipment. I will alternate between HIIT, strength and pilates. 

4:45p I start kid pickup! We have two daughters. Maisie is 2.5 and goes to daycare, Lila is 5.5 and in kindergarten. My husband Tom is a teacher and coaches in the fall and the spring as well. During those times of the year, I do school pick up most days. Weather and sunlight permitting, we will try and do something outside before starting dinner.

6:00p – It’s time to throw together something for dinner and eat as a family. I try to catch up with Tom and talk about our days while keeping the girls in their seats. 

{left} I’m about to say “after you go down the slide, it’s time to go” and then we end up there for another 10 minutes.  
{right} Nachos for dinner! If it were up to our kids, Stella would sit at the table with us.  

7:00p – We start the bedtime routine; it takes us a little under an hour to complete it all.  

8:30p – Phew, dinner is cleaned up and we are organized for the next morning. Time to unwind with a good TV show. I also love jigsaw puzzles! 

9:30p – Ideally, I’m heading up to bed at this point in my day. I read for a few minutes and try to go to bed around 10, which often ends up being 10:30. Set the alarm for tomorrow morning!