Keeping the Passion in Nursing with Healthy Work Environments - Interview with Anna Dermenchyan

The American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) is the organization for all things critical care. Many nursing leaders have played crucial parts in the development of AACN and one of these leaders is Anna Dermenchyan, MSN, RN, CCRN-K. Nurses Career Support Event Video Interview


Keeping the Passion in Nursing with Healthy Work Environments - Interview with Anna Dermenchyan

AACN offers the premier critical care conference, National Teaching Institute (NTI) annually. Recently’s Content and Community Director Mary Watts, BSN, RN, interviewed Anna Dermenchyan, MSN, RN, CCRN-K. In 2010, she founded the first hospital-based chapter of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). As the first chapter president, she began an annual Leadership Symposium for nurses and nursing students within the hospital and the community.

Issues Associated with the Job

Anna started her nursing career in a CVICU at UCLA. She relates; “they cared for such critically ill patients and provided such an enriching environment for a new nurse. What I was not prepared for was the issues associated with my job.” She progressed in her nursing career and had many roles including resource nurse, preceptor, and charge nurse. Approximately five years down the road, she wanted to take on a quality role. She went back to school and is currently working on a PhD looking at outcomes for HF patients in primary care.

Idealism as a New Nurse asked about the issues surrounding nursing care. Anna discussed the idealism that is felt in nursing school, “you don’t know the expectations of the new job.” She went on to discuss the need for teamwork and that sometimes this isn’t always there and “the patients suffer.” One of the stressors at the start of her career was that the CVICU manager left within six months and the unit felt “lost.” Another issue was that she had numerous preceptors which added to her stress.

Healthy Work Environment

Anna also commented that AACNs healthy work environments (HWE) initiatives are so important for critical care nurses. The six initiatives are:

  • Skilled communication
  • True collaboration
  • Effective decision making
  • Appropriate staffing
  • Meaningful recognition
  • Authentic leadership

The Importance of Networking

Next, they talked about networking which is a great way to make connections that will lead to success in your nursing career or any career. Mary asked, but how do you network successfully at a large conference like NTI?

Anna replied, “It is a place to learn clinical topics and there are 300 sessions, motivating. It’s also a value-added commodity. You can let your guard down and network and it's an amazing experience. It’s not only about practice education but also a great way to connect and make new members. You can find a mentor.”

Don’t take learning for granted. Collaborate with others.

Here is the complete interview presented in 2 videos:

Trauma Columnist
88 Articles   21,249 Posts

Share this post

Share on other sites