Paul A. Darr, MSN, CRNA, APN, FAAPM & assistant director of the nurse anesthesia program for the SIUE School of Nursing, spoke at the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists' Jack Neary Advanced Pain Management Educational Seminar in October 2012. This educational experience is offered annually for qualified Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) practitioners who wish to become more educated and skilled in providing chronic pain management procedures for their patients.
Paul began his work towards becoming an expert in pain management out of a level of necessity. The rural hospital in Staunton, Ill. where he worked in 1992 had many patients unable to go elsewhere for their care. The access issues his patients were experiencing made Paul eager to help. "The family practitioners at the hospital asked me if I would do epidurals," Paul said. "It's seemed a natural process to move from OB and surgical epidurals to putting steroids into a back. Even though that process seemed very simplistic, it was a whole different specialty and has taken continual study to develop a good knowledge base and skill set for pain management."
In order to acquire this expertise, Paul began training classes, including five cadaver courses to learn different procedures. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Pain Management and also became certified through the American Society of Pain Management Nursing. "I have tried to get as many certifications as I can," Paul said. "I have also taken a variety of courses through Nurse Anesthesia Pain Education Seminars."
Paul plays a very active role in helping with pain management education through the AANA, which has included designing educational programs for the organization.