Becoming a CRNA - From One Who Did It - page 5

Looking over this bulletin board, I noticed that there were few CRNA's posting, and a large number of people interested in becoming CRNA's posting. There seem to be a lot of questions. I had a lot... Read More

  1. by   braden74
    thanks for the info Sandy. i will contact the universities in my area.
  2. by   Kim-rn
    kmchugh:

    I have a question for you: When you got out of CRNA school, did you feel adequately prepared to administer anesthesia on your own? I know that when I graduated from nursing school, I felt "thrown to the wolves". Other nurses were quite helpful, but overall, I was on my own, and it was scary! In other words, there was SO MUCH about nursing that I didn't know. Is Nurse Anesthesia the same in this regard?
  3. by   kmchugh
    Kim

    Sorry this response has taken me so long to get around to, but it's been pretty busy here just lately. Generally, yes, when I graduated I felt like I was ready to start doing anesthesia on my own, with a caveat or two. I work for an anesthesia group, with both MDA's and CRNA's. The supervising doc was great at making me feel as though I had a backup if I needed it, so if there were problems, help was no more than a phone call away. And no one ever made me feel stupid for calling. I've been out for almost a year now, and I think my confidence has grown a great deal. I know exactly what you mean about being "thrown to the wolves" when you graduated from nursing school, but I never felt that way doing anesthesia.

    Kevin McHugh
  4. by   valencia
    I GRADUATE FROM AN AD PROGRAM NEXT YEAR. THE FOLLOWING YEAR I SHOULD HAVE MY BSN. I HAVE BEEN AN LPN FOR 10 YEARS.I PLAN ON GOING STRAIGHT INTO MICU.DO YOU THINK THAT I CAN WORK WEEKENDS AND STILL DO WELL IN AN ANESTHESIA PROGRAM.
  5. by   lgcv
    Valencia, if you mean work while you are in school NO!! Maybe every once in a while you could work a weekend, but for the most part you won't have time.
  6. by   sweetnepenthe
    Have to differ a little on working while in school. I worked 24 hrs a week(2 twelve-hour shifts) while in school. A 26 month program. Had two young sons,etc. If you need the money and are motivated, you can do it if you have to.

    If you have the option not to work, or can get a stipend, that is preferable but don't let having to work keep you from making a great career move. I have been out for ten years now and have never regretted going into anesthesia.
  7. by   aksana
    kmchugh,
    First af all, thank's for you info. Can you describe me your regular day at work? How many hours a day and week do you work? Do you work on weekends? Do you spend any time with your family at all? Are there jobs out there for CRNA? Thank's.
  8. by   meandragonbrett
    Yes, there are jobs out there, believe me, don't take the first spot you find, shop around and look @ the benefits package. We have some great benefits at a local group here in town.
  9. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by aksana
    kmchugh,
    First af all, thank's for you info. Can you describe me your regular day at work? How many hours a day and week do you work? Do you work on weekends? Do you spend any time with your family at all? Are there jobs out there for CRNA? Thank's.
    OK, it took me a while to realize there was a question directed at me. Sorry about how long you waited.

    I've described my typical workday before, so you should be able to find it here somewhere, but the short version is I'm usually at the hospital at around 6:30 to set up for a 7:30 start. I do cases all day. I'll go home, depending on my place in the call schedule that day and how busy we are, anywhere between 10 am and 10 pm. Our group pays overtime in addition to base salary, so anything over 40 hours a week is overtime, which earns me about $65-70 per hour. My average week sees me working about 50 hours, though I have had 30 hour weeks. But then last week, we had a couple of people on vacation and a very busy schedule, so we got killed. I worked 75 hours last week, but that is by no means typical.

    We have a rotating call schedule, and five CRNA's, so I am first call one weekend in five, as well as second call one weekend in five. 95% of the time when I am first call, I end up working all day Saturday, and usually at least a couple of hours on Sunday. On the weekends I am second call, I will work for about half a day on Saturday about 85% of the time, and never have to work on Sunday.

    I do have time with my family, and I usually try to ensure it is quality time. In addition, I have more vacation now (six weeks annually) than I have ever had before. I try to take vacations that include the family all doing something together. Two weeks ago, we all went to Table Rock lake in Missouri, and rented a cabin. Had a great time. The additional money a CRNA makes allows for better time off.

    There are a TON of jobs out there for CRNA's. Where in the US would you most dream of living? I would guess that there are jobs there. And most anesthesia groups will pay your moving expenses if moving is involved. There is a shortage of anesthesia providers right now, so contracts can be worked out to your best advantage. There are positions that promise no call, no more than 40 hours a week, and start at 110 - 120 K for a new graduate. Most will pay for your continuing education requirements. I am leaving home (Kansas) this Friday to go to Orlando for a conference there. And, I'm going on the bosses' dime. And the benefits go on and on. CRNA's are far better treated and compensated than ANY staff RN.

    Hope this answers your questions, and again, I'm sorry about how long it took to get around to it.

    Kevin McHugh
  10. by   sumstarr
    I'm 28yrs. old and I'm starting school in spring of '03'. I've always wanted to do this but I was scared and also let my Grandmother influence me into not going into nursing cause she's been one for 30+ yrs. Well now I'm almost 30yrs old and sick of my job, the job market, etc. so now I wanna do something I should have done a long time ago, BUT I'M SCARED. CAN I DO THIS? By 35-36 yrs of age. Just wanted a few folks views or support. Thanks
  11. by   kmchugh
    Of course you can do it, Sumstarr. I got out of the military at 33 years old, and went back to college to obtain my BSN. Graduated in 96, worked in an SICU for 3 years, then went back for my CRNA. Started work on my Master's at 39, graduated at 41. Why couldn't you do it?

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  12. by   Qwiigley
    sumstarr
    I went back to school at age 30 to become a RN, took 4 yrs to do the BSN, 5 years of ICU experence and now at 39 in school for CRNA. I will be 40 next year whether I am in school bettering myself or not. ha, ha, ha!
    Good Luck
  13. by   WntrMute2
    I'l be 46 when I'm done. My brain cell is full.

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