Delta Hospital Nurse Earns Doctorate in Anesthesia

Delta, CO (July 9, 2019) - Heather Driver a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) at Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) can now add doctorate to her long list of accomplishments. Driver has spent the last three years working towards her doctorate in anesthesia from Missouri State University.

"We are fortunate to have the caliber of staff like Heather here at Delta Hospital and congratulate her on her success," said Jason Cleckler, CEO at Delta County Memorial Hospital.

"Her dedication to her profession and this hospital is profound. We are proud she chooses to share her talents and passion with us and our patients."

The doctorate offered through MSU was a dual study program where Driver went back to the school campus one time per semester and studied the rest online. "I wanted to do this for myself," stated Driver "[And I feel like] it promotes the credibility of the profession."

Driver came to DCMH in 2015 with an already long laundry list of accomplishments. She has been in the nursing profession for over 23 years, receiving her Family Nurse Practitioner in 2001, Masters of Anesthesia in 2009 and now her doctorate in 2019. And although Driver has had lofty education goals, working at a small rural hospital like DCMH was on her list as well.

"I knew about this hospital and I knew this would be my goal," comments Driver. "I have always liked and wanted to be in a small and more independent setting, getting to provide the complete spectrum of care. In larger settings there is a bigger diffusion of responsibilities. In rural, smaller hospitals [as a CRNA] you are doing all of it; owning your's an enjoyable and humbling challenge."

Delta Hospital currently employs six CRNA's responsible for providing anesthesia, sedation and pain management for all departments. "It's like a family," said Driver, smiling as she describes her fellow CRNA's. "I think everyone works really hard. Everyone jumps in to help each other. It is based on empathy and compassion (with one another) for the best patient outcomes."

DCMH has also partnered with Midwestern University out of Glendale, Arizona to provide clinical instruction and rotation for senior CRNA students where Driver will be helping instruct students. "I want to be the best instructor and give the best education I can," says Driver.

Driver lives near Cedaredge with her spouse, also a nurse at DCMH, and their goats. "I love the western slope," she said. We backpack, hike, rock climb, fish, just about everything you can do outdoors other than skydive."