Fran Mastrangelo, CRNA

Bringing Coast Guard and Army experience to the front lines of the pandemic

FranWith 12 years of experience in the Coast Guard and Army, Fran prepares for work like he is preparing for battle. Protective gear is double checked, assignments for everyone in the operating room are reviewed, and a clear chain of command is established. This preparation saves lives. Not just the patients’ lives, but also the lives of his teammates.

Protocols are different nowadays. Formerly quick procedures can now take up to an hour when donning and doffing PPE is factored in. But it is part of the job. Despite the risk he faces each day, Fran never hesitates. He knows he’s prepared and can count on everyone working alongside him to do their part.

This isn’t the first pandemic Fran has seen come through the hallways of the hospital. With experience as a frontline worker during the SARS outbreak in 2003, he feels in some ways that this is just another day on the job. Unlike during the SARS outbreak, though, COVID-19 has forced the postponement of non-emergency surgery and procedures, and every person who comes into the hospital is treated as a potential COVID-19 patient. These added steps may be cumbersome, but Fran and his colleagues will do what it takes to ensure everyone remains safe.

According to Fran, when you prepare for battle, the most important thing is to trust those with whom you share your foxhole. Fran inspires that trust in his coworkers, and they do the same with him. “When it comes time to enter the fight, you want to know the person by your side has your back,” says Fran.