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Alumni Spotlight

Brad Grace and Stephanie Haynes Grace met at Hardin Simons University nearly 12 years ago while playing tennis. They're now not only married but because of their mutual passion to serve others, they both became Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

Brad, from Victoria, Texas, received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, and Stephanie received a Bachelors of Science in Biology. After graduating from HSU in 2005, they both continued their education at HSU and attended the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing to earn their BSN in Nursing. After graduating in 2007, they were married May 20.

"After graduation, I was fortunate to have been offered a job working in Abilene at Hendrick Medical Center," Brad said. “I worked in the Cardiac Care Unit and the Intensive Care Unit for two years before being accepted into the Texas Christian University School of Nurse Anesthesia. I graduated with honors from TCU in December of 2011 with a Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia."

Stephanie, from Abilene and a 2001 graduate of Wylie High School, also worked at HMC in the pediatric unit for six months and over a year in ICU before they moved to Fort Worth. Stephanie worked at Baylor All Saints Medical Center for one year before she attended TCU and received her Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia in December 2012.

The duties and responsibilities of a CRNA is being an advocate for the patient before, during, and immediately following their surgical experience, according to Brad. "My responsibilities include verifying all necessary laboratory tests are complete, ensuring all physicians participating in the direct care of the patient have agreed with the surgical plan for the patient, and discussing the appropriate anesthetic plan with the patient."

He said getting to know the patient is especially important, because if the patient trusts the anesthesia provider it helps alleviate anxiety.

"The simplest way to describe my role during the intra-operative period is to say I am responsible for getting the patient to sleep safely and efficiently, maintaining sleep for the duration of the surgery, and waking the patient up once the surgery is completed."

Stephanie said each person has specific needs making her job challenging and rewarding because no patient and case are ever the same.

"I have always had the desire and passion to help people when they need it the most, that's why being a nurse anesthetist is perfect for me," Stephanie said. "I get to care for the patient and be their voice and advocate at a time when they need it the most. I love that I get to decide and plan for their specific anesthetic needs."

They both intend to grow and learn everyday. Brad hopes to one day have his own anesthesia practice.

Stephanie now works at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth for Pinnacle Partners in Medicine, and Brad works at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, Texas, for Northstar Anesthesia.

When Brad and Stephanie aren't helping others at work, she enjoys shopping and traveling while he is doing any activity that's outside. They also both love spending time with their four-legged babies ... their dogs, as well as their family and friends.