Deb Gordon, DNP RN FAAN
Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
University of Washington
How has APS membership been of value to you and your professional development?
The opportunity and dynamics of interdisciplinary forums that APS provides to tackle important issues in a way that is inclusive and productive is very important. Connecting with other people doing similar work is one of the most rewarding aspects of membership and volunteering for APS. I’ve been able to meet and work with some really fantastic and interesting people and feel like I’ve really been able to contribute to growth of the field.
What is your area of specialty?
I come from a staff development perspective and have always been interested in practice improvement and quality improvement activities with an aim to moving the “system” forward and integrating new knowledge into practice.
What has been a highlight of your work? Perhaps you and your staff are proud of a certain project or accomplishment.
I think I’m most known for my work in leading the APS Quality Improvement guidelines and refining the APS patient-outcome questionnaire, and I am certainly very proud of that collaborative effort, but the highlights for me have always been those profound personal moments with a person in pain when you know you’ve made a difference.
What sparked your interest in working in your field? Briefly describe your career path.
I don’t think there is one experience that led me into the field of pain management. It was more a collective clinical experience seeing a lot of pain as a staff nurse working in trauma surgery and my good fortune to be working at the University of Wisconsin at a time when a lot of important work was happening to bring pain into the spotlight at a time when it was really under-recognized and undertreated.
Who is your favorite role model—and why?
I can’t say enough about how much I admire and respect June Dahl, PhD. June has been very influential in the field and was the catalyst for many of my achievements. She’s a great teacher, collaborator, and scientist but is a clinician at heart.
Featured in the March 2014 Issue of APS E-News