World Journey to Become a CRNA: AAPI Heritage Month Reflection

Source: Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Date: May 30, 2022

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AUSTIN, TX—The Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA) celebrates and recognizes Asian American / Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month during May and the excellent care given to patients by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) of diverse backgrounds.

Manu Reddy, DNAP, CRNA, has made quite a life journey to be able to serve patients in Texas, from growing up in a village in south India to being the first in his village to make it to the United States.

“I was the youngest of a poor agricultural family of six, with two brothers and a sister,” Reddy said. “I walked several miles to school every day, rain or shine. I am one of the few in my village who completed college. The poverty, difficult lifestyle, and lack of access to healthcare and higher education pushed me to stay focused, study and work hard, aim very high, and never take no for an answer. The traits shaped me into a successful CRNA of 26 years.

Reddy’s determination led him to seek a career as a CRNA, but not without obstacles and adversity to overcome in achieving his dreams.

“It was next to impossible,” Reddy said. “Pretty much everything was stacked up against me. I had to overcome fierce competition, lack of exposure to the U.S. education system, immigration and financial hurdles, and constant discouragement that I wasn’t ready, qualified, or good enough to get selected and finish my program. I was in the U.S. for just over two years when I started the process. My determination to succeed, hard work, and support from my wonderful spouse got me through.”

Reddy eventually accomplished his dreams and now serves patients in the Houston Metro area and lives the TxANA mission of patient safety and the advancement of nurse anesthesia by connecting with the communities receiving care.

“My upbringing and personal traits helped me recognize and understand the cultural, financial, and social complexities of my patients and their loved ones, especially the underserved,” Reddy said.

Reddy imparts advice to the next generation of CRNAs, but not without recognizing a role model of his before doing so.

“Mahatma Gandhi’s work ethic, unwillingness to give up and simplicity inspired me,” Reddy said.

“Nurse anesthesia is an amazing profession to pursue,” Reddy said. “Always follow your passion. It’s a hard and long journey but very rewarding. Work hard, stay focused, never give up, seek advice, and develop a network. Get involved and give back.”

Reddy reflects on the importance of AAPI Heritage Month and the impact Asian cultures have on American identity.

“Happy Asian American / Pacific Islander Heritage Month to all my fellow CRNAs and SRNAs,” Reddy said. “I am honored to be a CRNA and represent this noble community. AAPI Heritage Month means recognizing and appreciating the ongoing involvement and contributions of Asian Americans to our profession. Even though we have made significant progress, we have a long way to go in addressing the diversity gap. I celebrate this month through acknowledgement and appreciation of the contributions made by this community.”

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About TxANA

Advancing patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia, the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA) was founded on Aug. 9, 1974. Its goals include facilitating cooperation between nurse anesthetists and the health care profession, hospitals, healthcare providers, and other agencies interested in anesthesia. The membership is limited to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Nurse Anesthesia Students who are members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

Nurses were the first professional group to specialize in and provide anesthesia services in the United States in the 1880s. Today there are over 59,000 CRNAs practicing throughout the United States, of which more than 5,400 are located in Texas. CRNAs are advanced practice nurses registered by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). CRNAs must hold a current state license as a registered nurse, graduate from an approved educational program, successfully complete the certification examination and comply with continuing education requirements for recertification. Learn more at