CRNA of Distinction

We recognize that our diverse members work hard and dedicate themselves in exemplary ways and we want to celebrate you! The MANA "CRNA of Distinction" honors members with outstanding dedication to the CRNA profession. "CRNAs of Distinction" are featured on the MANA website, via email and in the MANA e-newsletter.  Nominate yourself, a peer, or an employee who has gone above and beyond to be a MANA "CRNA of Distinction". Click here to complete a nomination form.

MANA's March 2019 CRNA of Distinction

Trish Labieniec, CRNA

Trish Labieniec graduated as a Registered Nurse in 1999 and immediately went to practice in the Cardiac SICU. 


She continued to be a CCU/CSICU RN until 2005, working in various east coast hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston, Washington Hospital Center in Washington DC, Hartford Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT and Mercy Hospital in Springfield.  In 2005, Trish entered a nurse anesthesia program to become a CRNA, graduating in 2007, and continues to work in MA and CT. 


What made you choose CRNA as a career path?
After practicing as a CSICU/CCU RN for 7 years, I met a CRNA and was intrigued by the level of autonomy they had. I wanted to advance my career and just knew this was what I had to do.

From your experience, what are the best things about being a CRNA?  The worst?
The BEST thing is knowing you are helping patients feel comfortable and safe during one of their most vulnerable moments. 
The WORST can be the long hours that may take away time that I could have been spending with my son. Thankfully he is very understanding and missed time is made up with fun adventures.

Using a single word or short phrase, how would you describe yourself?

If money/time was no issue, what hobby would you get into?
Scuba diving. I have already begun this hobby, however, would like to do more liveaboard dive trips. In late 2017, I started Dive Anesthesia (CE company for CRNAs) to combine my passion for scuba diving with my passion of being a CRNA. It's a win win situation.

What job would you be terrible at?
Any desk job! 

What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
A safari in Kruger Park which is one of the largest wildlife preserves in Africa.

What small things make your day better?
Anything that encompasses helping people or animals. My day is always better when I know I have helped someone or something.

What is your claim to fame?
Right now I would have to say the children’s book I just published this past year called “A Nap with a Nurse Anesthetist”. I adore pediatric patients and created these interactive stories to allow children to understand a few essential pieces about the perioperative process with the hope it will encourage them to participate and reduce their anxiety on the day of their surgery.

What is the best single day on the calendar?
My sons birthday of course! He is my pride and joy.

Most annoying question people ask you?
How much money do you make? I'm always amazed when I'm asked this. I find it to be very intrusive especially from individuals I barely know!

What are your most looking forward to in the next 10 years?
Watching my son grow up. Parenting can be rewarding and challenging at the same time. I am a very proud mama already and amazed at his level of energy and enthusiasm.  As parents we guide our children and influence them in so many ways, so I am excited to watch him transition into adulthood.

What is the best way to start the day?
Depends on the day! If it's a work day, a cup of coffee is a must as I drive into work. If its a non-work day, a morning run or a bike ride is truly gratifying.

What do you hope never changes?
Hope. Having hope can redefine what is possible and open paths to what we might consider impossible at times. Hope can create endurance and strength when we need it most. As long as there's hope, there's possibility.

What movie or book title best describes your life?
I actually struggled with this one, so I asked one of my closest friends Denise Bolduc who is also a CRNA. Sometimes having an outside opinion is more telling than your own! She chose "Erin Brockovich", I'm going to assume it's because of her determination and strong advocacy skills. 

What are you most likely to become famous for?
Hopefully my book! The goal of my children's book is to reduce children's level of anxiety on their day of surgery by empowering them with knowledge. It would be amazing to be known as the person whose book had a positive impact on children and parents.

What is the best compliment you’ve received?
The best compliment I ever received was in a letter from a patient’s wife thanking me for taking care of her husband during his last moments. Thanking me for going above and beyond for her when in my heart I believe I did what any other CRNA would do. You realize how important your words and actions can be and knowing that I had a positive impact on someone during one of their toughest times, is the best compliment anyone can ever receive.

Who inspires you to be better?
My parents and a few close friends. I truly believe in putting yourself around those that will encourage, advocate and inspire you. My parents immigrated from Poland when they were teenagers. They overcame many obstacles through hard work and sacrifices. They instilled important values and work ethic that I hope I can pass onto my son. 

What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?
1) Going to college. College played a big part in shaping and maturing my way of thinking and reasoning. It helped me better understand the world we live in while being the gateway to two successful careers and the rewards that come with them.
2) Having a child. Your entire outlook changes when you have children. Children have a way of grounding you and putting things into perspective. Evan has definitely blessed me and made me a better person.
3) Playing sports. Over the years I have learned how to have fun while teaching myself how to step out of my comfort zone and become fit. The greatest impact that sports has had on my life is incorporating the concept of teamwork from sports to my life and work. My friends and colleagues have grown closer and stronger because teamwork and encouragement to each other has made that happen.

There are 2 types of people in this world. What are the 2 types?
Ambitious and non-ambitious people. Those that set goals and those that do not.

What is your favorite smell?
Stargazer Lily

If you had to change your name, what would you change it to?
I wouldn’t, I like my name!

What risks are worth taking?
-The risk of possibly failing for following your passions and dreams.
-The risk of consequence for taking actions on things that can make a difference.

What do you take for granted?
Freedom. Here in America there are many things that pertain to freedom that we take for granted. A few examples are: freedom to education, freedom of religion, freedom to travel, freedom to vote, freedom to own property, freedom to start a business and freedom to wear whatever you want!

What gets you fired up?
Animal cruelty. Having a few pets of my own, its deeply disturbing to read stories of animal cruelty. 

What irrational fear do you have?

What is the last adventure you went on? 
Cozumel trip with Dive Anesthesia. It was amazing!

What were some of the turning points in your life?
Major milestones in my life were: 1) Graduating as an RN and obtaining my first job into a CSICU setting as a new graduate in 1999. 2) Graduating as a CRNA in 2007. 3) Giving birth to my amazing son in 2012.

What are 3 interesting facts about you?
1) I own 3 businesses. Nurse Anesthesia Professional Services, Dive Anesthesia and a nonprofit organization called Run Walk Southwick to raise money for local causes. 
2) I have 9 pets which include 2 Golden Retrievers, a Persian cat (18 years old) and 6 chickens!
3) I have a twin sister, we are the complete opposites.

What do you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as a person who made everyone smile even amidst tough times. Someone who was the source of inspiration and motivation for others. Someone that was loyal, trustworthy and taught others to do the same.

What is the best thing about you?
I am very dependable and loyal. 

What bends your mind every time you think about it?
Stem cell research.

What are the top 3 things you want to accomplish before you die? How close are you to accomplishing them?
1) Complete a DNP program. Planning on enrolling this fall.
2) Publish a children's book which I just accomplished titled "A Nap with a Nurse Anesthetist".
3) Run a marathon. Goal is to participate in the 2020 Boston Marathon.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Trust those that believe in you and your vision. 


Inspired to share your story? Click here to complete a nomination form.