College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-25-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Bernadette T. Roche, EdD, APRN, CRNA

Second Advisor

Pamela S. Schwartz, DNP, CRNA


There is a lack of surgical and anesthesia services in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) which creates an increased burden of disease from otherwise surgically treatable conditions. Nurse anesthesia trainees (NATs) can serve to fill this lack of anesthesia services while also gaining real life experience that can enhance their training. Identifying common experiences and barriers among NATs that have volunteered on a surgical brigade is important to understand the benefits experienced by NATs and to increase volunteer surgical brigade programs among nurse anesthesia programs. A retrospective thematic analysis of 23 written reflections of NATs who participated in a one-week volunteer surgical brigade to Honduras, from 2012-2017, was done to identify common barriers and experiences of NATs volunteering in Honduras. Utilizing content analysis, eight different themes were identified among NAT experiences with volunteering in Honduras. These themes include preparation, prior strengths and experiences, perspective of healthcare access, challenges, changed personal view, increased competence in anesthesia practice, positive experience, and advice to others. The results provide information that can serve as a guide for NAT participation in volunteer surgical brigades and development of NAT volunteer surgical brigades by nurse anesthesia programs.

SLP Collection


Included in

Nursing Commons