CRNA Week Spotlight: Judy Lane

by Danielle Beebe
January 21, 2019

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Editor’s Note: National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Week is Sunday, January 20, through Saturday, January 26. To celebrate, the Department of Anesthesiology is featuring various CRNAs with unique personal and professional stories.
CRNA Judy Lane claims she "tripped and fell" into her current role about 35 years ago.
She was working in the intensive care unit as a nurse when one of her colleagues brought in an application to CRNA school. He happened to have an extra copy, gave it to her and encouraged her to apply. Months later she was accepted and started CRNA school—all while attending to a newborn baby. Lane worked at Bergan Mercy and Clarkson Hospital early in her career, now known as Nebraska Medicine. 
"I can’t think of a better place to work," Lane said. "We are fortunate to have a great department with such intelligent employees."
Nearing the end of her career, Lane now works the weekend shift. You can often find her on service Saturdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to Monday at 7 a.m. The long hours on weekends don’t bother her.
"My kids are grown up and they’re not going to hang out with me on Saturday nights anyway," Lane said. "Somebody did it for me when my kids were young, and now it’s my turn."
On Lane’s off days Monday through Friday, she doesn’t step too far away from her professional role as a health care provider. She finds great joy in babysitting her grandchildren, and caring for her elderly parents.
She is also a meticulous gardener of hundreds of vegetable seedlings, colorful peppers, giant sunflowers and more. In fact, many at the medical center have benefitted from her trays of fresh vegetables and jars of homemade salsa.
"I wouldn’t be able to do it if it weren’t for this flexible shift," she said. "The other thing about working weekends is that you never know what’s going to happen. I’m well-suited for it. It’s never boring."
Lane’s optimistic, energetic and empathetic demeanor is contagious. She raves over a 40-year career in which she worked alongside "some of the smartest people in the world," learning something new every day that she could turn into extraordinary patient care. She loves the challenge of caring for each patient to the best of her ability, reviewing and reacting to every piece of information provided by patient monitors. Seeing a relaxed, well-cared-for patient in the recovery room provides regular gratification.
"It’s an honor and a privilege that people who have just met me allow me to care for them so completely," Lane said. "I’ve had nearly 40 years of being able to care for people like that. I try to respect that to the max and care for them like I would care for my parents, my grandchildren, even my golden retriever."