When it comes to her job as first assistant in the operating room, longtime Augusta Health employee Martha Kennedy, RN, goes the extra mile. Not just for herself — but for her patients.
“I became a certified registered nurse first assistant (CRNFA) in 1997, because I felt my patients should receive the best care possible,” she says. “I wanted to be more than an extra pair of hands; I wanted to know what to do to make the surgical procedure go as smoothly as possible.”
As a CRNFA, Kennedy is the go-to person in the operating room (OR) for resources and troubleshooting. “I am required to know what the procedure is and what is needed to help the procedure go as anticipated,” she says. “If there is a delay in the surgical procedure I am assisting on, it is my responsibility to expedite the procedure by whatever means necessary — whether it is consulting the patient, surgeon, anesthesia or other members of the staff. As an assistant, I also know what is available in the OR at any given time.”
Kennedy has been working in the operating room at Augusta Health for 40 years. Her wealth of knowledge and experience is a bit of an inside joke among the team. “They often laugh and say that I know what allwe have because I am 100 years old, but, [the truth is] I have been around for a long time and I like being a resource person,” she says. “I want all of my patients to receive the care they deserve when entering our operating room.”
Working Monday through Friday and on-call on the weekends, Kennedy has little time for outside hobbies. She wouldn’t have it any other way. “Each day as a first assistant gives me the opportunity to be instrumental in someone’s life for at least part of each day,” she says. “It brings me so much joy because I have worked hard to acquire the skills and knowledge required to function as a vital member of the OR team.”
In the spare time she has, Kennedy enjoys crafting and DIY projects, playing the piano and spending time with her grandchildren. “I have five granddaughters, ages 9–15, and three grandsons, ages 10–17. I enjoy watching all of them participate in sports, band, violin and drama.”