February Spotlight – Sandra Jean Keddy, MSN, CRNA, APRN
Sandra Keddy, a proud Southern New Hampshire native, moved back here from South Carolina with her family in 2009. Sandy worked her way up through the nursing ranks after graduating with her Associates Degree from Mount Wachusett Community College in 1993. She worked in many of the various nursing roles in her 19 years as a Registered Nurse from ICU, ER, Rapid Response, Cardiac Triage Nurse Administrator, and Clinical Educator while also having a family and obtaining her Bachelors of Science Degree from University of South Carolina Upstate.
During that time, her passion for cardiac nursing and patients continued to inspire and challenge her. Sandy had always planned to further her nursing career earlier on, but life happened and plans changed drastically. Her second son Ashton was born with a very rare disease called Mucolipidosis Type 2. As a special needs child he needed more care and it was not the right time to head off to anesthesia school. “Honestly, I had kinda given up the dream of becoming a CRNA”. Ashton lived 6.5 years. He loved life and made us laugh daily. He also demonstrated perseverance and courage. After he died, Sandy took time to grieve and then the dream of becoming a CRNA began to ignite again.
While obtaining her Master of Science Nurse Anesthesia Degree from the University of New England, Portland, Sandy was awarded the Agatha Hodgins Award for outstanding student. Her passion for being politically involved began at UNE after attending her first Mid-Year Assembly. She loved D.C. and advocating for our profession in the capital building, sparking a fire within her that still burns brightly today. Sandy knew she wanted to forever give back and protect the awesome profession of nurse anesthesia. “I feel so grateful to be a CRNA”. Sandy served two terms as the President of the New Hampshire Association of Nurse Anesthetist, where she worked to increase member engagement and advocate for independent practice for all CRNAs in New Hampshire. Her hope for NHANA’s future is to increase the number of CRNAs in the state who are involved in NHANA’s mission for CRNA education, political and public advocacy and ultimately safe patient care through evidence based anesthesia. Sandy’s love for cardiac nursing continues to show up in anesthesia.
At Concord Hospital, she specialized in EP anesthesia doing Laser Lead Extractions, Watchman’s, Impella supported Vtach ablations, and ASD Closures. She is currently 1 of 8 in a CRNA only Anesthesia Department at Littleton Regional Hospital where she provides independent anesthesia services to the community she lives in. She serves on the quality improvement committee and is pursuing opioid free anesthesia techniques with the use of regional anesthesia and adjuncts. “We definitely help each other out and have become a great team”. Sandy has taken her anesthetic talents abroad on medical mission trips to where she enjoys outreach with those in greatest need of health care.
Since her senior year in anesthesia school, she has been traveling abroad with Baptist Medical and Dental Mission International providing anesthesia for adult and pediatric ENT surgeries. “I continue to go every year and now take my other son Andrew with me, he is a nursing student”. When not in her role at Littleton Regional, Sandy can be found outdoors hiking, snowboarding, mountain biking, and doing all things New Hampshire with her family.
What her colleagues say about her…
Sandy is not only an excellent CRNA clinically, she is a tireless campaigner with regard to advocacy for her patients, our profession, and her colleagues here in the Granite State. Sandy completed an unprecedented two years as NHANA president. She stepped up, without a second thought, when the president-elect had to resign. In her time as NHANA president, she has been our legislative voice for independent practice to the full extent of our training in the local arena and has done a tremendous job for us in the Capitol. Sandy has worked at great lengths in outreach to legislators with regard to understanding what CRNAs are capable of providing with respect to health care delivery and cost. As well as her work on the “Nurse Anesthesiologist” descriptor that is ongoing. From legislative meetings to mid-year, no one has worked harder to advocate for all the CRNAs in NH and their ability to practice without restriction. Sandy has garnered recognition for her ability to articulate a strong message focused on improving health care for the residents of NH no matter where they receive their health care.
8 Quick Question to Get to Know you Better…
1. Top 3 hobbies/interests outside of work?
Mountain biking, hiking, playing guitar, snowboarding
2. Favorite thing to do in NH?
I have a hard time picking a favorite. I love all the activities that each season in NH offers. I love being outdoors, whether its in the mountains, at the lake or by the ocean. NH is the best because of the shocking changes in seasons which offers new excitement and new
One favorite is maple sugaring! It brings a bit of sweetness after a long winter!!
3. Mountains or Seacoast?
I live in the mountains and visit the seacoast.
4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I love where I live so I’ll stay here in NH
5. Hardest anesthesia concept in school to figure out?
MAC?? Really how does the minimal alveoli concentration have anything to do with putting the brain to sleep. And why are there 6 different calcium channels , couldn’t someone have told me that from the start.
6. Pedi or Adults?
I enjoy a variety of cases both pedi and adult. I go on a surgical mission trip to Honduras every year and do pedi ENT cases.
7. CRNA you look up too? WHY?
I look up to independent practice CRNA’s because it takes nerves of steel to be on call alone in the middle of the night doing a stat C-section.
8. Top 3 bucket lists items?
1. My great grandparents on my mom and my dads side came over from Finland. I want to visit and explore where my ancestors came from.
2. Hike the NH section of the Appalachian Trail as a through hike.
3. Visit and explore Italy.
One piece of advice you’d like to impart to future CRNA’s?
Study, work, and fight hard for clinical experiences that will make you a full practice independent nurse anesthesiologist. You do not need supervision!