Kirk Butler, , BSN-RN, CCRNUniversity of Minnesota DNP
Kirk Butler is currently a Doctor of Nursing Practice – Nurse Anesthesia student at the University of Minnesota. Kirk attended the University of Missouri on an ROTC scholarship and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army. While stationed in the Pacific his experiences recognizing the impact an anesthetist could have on a Soldier’s health led him on a career trajectory towards critical care and nursing anesthesia. When a leadership opportunity with a combat unit was available, he transferred to JBLM, Washington to join the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team surgeon cell. This experience exposed him to the damaging effects of war on Soldiers coming back from deployment. These experiences would gravitate him back to the bedside to pursue nurse anesthesia. Veterans represent a unique population where chronic pain issues affect the population with higher prevalence rates than non-veterans. Often chronic pain is the most common denominator to many of the deleterious effects on Veterans mental health space resulting in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, substance abuse, and addictive behaviors. Veterans with untreated chronic pain can lead to non-healthful coping alternatives such as misuse of alcohol, drugs, and risky lifestyle choices to deal with the negative consequences of persisting pain. Better pain management strategies can prevent the damaging effects that unremedied chronic pain can have on a Veteran’s health. As a CRNA, Kirk has the novel perspective of being a Veteran seeking to support improved pain management modalities to taper the effects of chronic pain leading to mental health compromise.
Research/Clinical Practice Area: Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar – Geriatrics
Dissertation: Multimodal Pain Therapy: Non-Opioid Techniques to Decrease the Opioid Addiction