Maria Farrow and Janette Abella, two neurosurgery nurse practitioners, have been an indispensable part of our neurosurgery team for many years. Farrow has been an acute care nurse practitioner since 2003 and currently manages the pre- and post-surgical care of our adult inpatient neurosurgical service.
Abella has worked in critical care nursing for more than 20 years and cares for adult inpatient neurosurgical patients. As nurse practitioners, they have advanced education and training beyond their RN (registered nurse) license.
As part of their interest in continually learning more about the neuroscience field, Farrow and Abella, recently attended the annual Educational Meeting of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses in Boston. Every year this meeting allows neuroscience professionals to gather and share their knowledge, attend educational sessions and earn continuing education credits.
Maria Farrow and Janette Abella
Both nurse practitioners were proud to represent Columbia’s Department of Neurosurgery at conference. They attended as part of a group of nurses from Columbia University Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital which Farrow says was the largest group of nurses present from any institution. Farrow and Abella were the only nurse practitioners in the group.
Aside from the educational parts of the conference, Farrow says two encounters stood out to her this year. The first was that she got to spend time with guest lecturer Astrid Hendren, aneurysm survivor and author of the book Surviving Lasts a Lifetime, in which Hendren chronicles her survival of a ruptured aneurysm.
Hendren spoke at the conference about her experience as a patient and about her stages of recovery. Farrow says that as caregivers, the nurses found the descriptions of Hendren’s experience invaluable.
Both nurse practitioners came away from the conference with new information and strategies to improve neurosurgical patient care. They also had a great time networking with their colleagues.
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