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HODGINS, AGATHA C.

HODGINS, AGATHA C. (1877-24 March 1945) was a nurse who pioneered nitrous oxide anesthesia while working as chief anesthetist for DR. GEORGE CRILE. Hodgins opened Lakeside (Hospital) School of Anesthesia, the nation's first formal postgraduate program in anesthesia, and founded the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

Born in Toronto, Canada, Hodgins moved to Boston in 1898 where she graduated from Boston City Hospital's Training School for Nurses in 1900. Moving to Cleveland, Hodgins became head nurse at Lakeside Hospital's private pavilion.

At Lakeside, Hodgins became associated with Crile, a surgeon, and a dentist, Dr. Charles Teter, who were experimenting with a new method of administering nitrous oxide-oxygen anesthesia. Crile chose Hodgins, a nurse with a reputation for patience, intelligence and diligence, as his personal, permanent anesthetist. In 1908 Hodgins was placed in charge of anesthesia for Crile's private service at Lakeside.

In 1915 Hodgins served for several months at the World War I American Ambulance Hospital in Paris, France, as part of a small volunteer team organized by Crile. Here they demonstrated the superiority of their anesthetic technique for patients in shock or who had been gassed.

Upon her return to Cleveland, Hodgins developed a course of study for a post-graduate anesthesia school at Lakeside Hospital. The school opened in 1915 to graduate nurses who had passed their state board examinations, and to qualified physicians and dentists.

In 1923 Hodgins organized the Alumnae Association of the Lakeside School of Anesthesia, which became the nucleus for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Hodgins retired as director of the Lakeside School of Anesthesia in 1933.

Hodgins remained single. She died in Chatham, MA.