Why I love my job: Anesthesia aide Kris Kowalski

You never know when it’ll be your loved one on the table

Anesthesia Aide Kris Kowalski

My love for nursing started more than 30 years ago when I was hired as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at what is now Fairview Lakes Medical Center. 

For a short period of time, I took a hiatus from nursing and was working for a medical equipment company. But that quickly changed after the birth of my son.

While my wife was being prepped for a C-section at Fairview Lakes, I willingly put on the "bunny suit," walked into the operating room, and was quickly reminded why I loved nursing. Then and there, I immediately knew I had to get back to where I belonged — the hospital, caring for patients.   

After a few phone calls and interviews, I was back as a CNA at University of Minnesota Medical Center. I loved my job, but I still wanted to find a way to the OR. A colleague recommended that I complete the anesthesia aide certification.  Everything fell into place.

Eight years later I’m still working as an anesthesia aide in the OR, and I truly love what I do. I love coming to work every day, and it’s a great honor to work alongside our talented surgical team. They are our real-life heroes.

But my love and respect for nursing and Fairview goes beyond my professional life; Fairview Southdale Hospital is responsible for giving my mom her life back.

As a result of a childhood illness, my mom needed to have her mitral valve replaced. As long as I can remember, she was always short of breath, and as she aged, it progressively got worse. After surgery at Fairview Southdale, my mom is now an avid dancer. I never thought I’d see her active and enjoying life again.  Most recently, she enrolled in a dance class with her grandkids.

I take great pride in what I do, and I treat every patient like they're my mom. You never know when it will be your loved one on the table.

Thank you, Fairview, for providing me with my life’s passion and caring for my mom!

Kris Kowalski
Anesthesia aide, University of Minnesota Medical Center – West Bank

Check out Fairview’s career opportunities at fairview.org/careers.

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