CNA position that would be beneficial towards becoming a CRNA?

  1. Quick background. 30 year old male changing careers from Industrial Design to Nursing. Plan on starting BSN program next Fall. I am finishing up my CNA class here shortly. I plan to work as a CNA while going through the 2 years of the BSN program.

    Is there a specific area that I should look into working that would benefit my plans to become a CRNA? OR? ICU? Other?

    Keep in mind that I am totally new to the Health Care Field.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Last edit by warzone on May 27, '03
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   smogmatt
    I was a Anesthesia tech/orderly w/ my CNA it was great to see how a OR ran and get the "feel" of it. in my CRNA school interviews they liked that I had been in the OR and knew (kinda) what I was getting into. My feeling is you will have plenty of time to do poop control in the ICU and on the floors.
  4. by   MICU RN
    Smoggmatt's advice sounds pretty good, I wish I would have gotten more OR exposure besides just shadowing a crna.
  5. by   KimQCRNA
    Warzone.......get your BSN, spend some time in ER to learn how to deal with SICK people, rapid assessment, stabilization, priority setting, etc......and a couple years in ICU.......must learn and understand hemodynamic monitoring.......required in most programs to even get an interview......good luck, it's worth it....Kim CRNA
  6. by   KimQCRNA
    p.s..........sorry I forgot to address the OR issue......most people in my anesthesia class had not ever worked in the OR as an RN, but I feel that any and all nursing experience in varied areas never hurts......you would know the basics, like how the OR flows, importance of things non OR nurses never knew about, specific info about consents, OR times, tourniquet times, where to put electrodes for different cases, patient positioning for different cases, awareness of unconscious patients vulnerability to injury, etc etc etc.....not to mention all the equipment that OR nurses know how to use, and there is a TON of it.......I had a friend that went to work in OR as a nurse, she lasted about 9 mos, she came back and told me "there's ALL kinds of ways to kill people in surgery".......she didn't "get" why I wanted to do anesthesia, but hey, it takes all kinds......gotta like living on the edge!
  7. by   mdwRN
    I would suggest working as a tech in an ER. You will gain lots of practical skills(Foley's, pt transport, O2 tanks, setting up various trays for LP's, Sutures, Gyne, I & D, asepsis, etc) Some nurses might even let you draw blood, start IV's. You will deal with a spectrum of pt's and that experience will serve you well in nursing clinicals and your career as an RN. Good luck!
  8. by   CougRN
    You are getting good advice from the posters here. I worked in an ambulatory surgery center as an anesthesia tech. This experience was great for me because I got to get into the OR and second assist in surgeries and the center was run by a CRNA. So I gained a lot of knowledge working day to day with a CRNA and gained a great recommendation from him too. I would suggest waiting to go to the ICU until after school because as an aid in the ICU you don't get to do much. Try to find something you enjoy and get some good exposure. Best of luck.
  9. by   dreamon
    I know this is a silly question, but please humor a newbie....what are the differences between ER/ ICU. When looking into what CRNA programs want, I see they want CCU, Acute care, ER or ICU? I just don't want to pick the wrong section to work in when I graduate.
    Thanks everybody!
  10. by   CougRN
    Well by the time you graduate you will have a better handle on the different units. But for now I can tell you that most schools want ICU experience. So you're best bet is to go to an ICU after graduation. A CCU is an intensive care unit. ER is not considered a critical care unit by most schools so check with the schools you are interested in. You just don't get the same experience with drips and vents in most ER's. Hope that helps.
  11. by   TraumaNurse
    As an RN looking into CRNA school, it is much better to have ICU experience from a large teaching hospital. You see more, learn more and get a better idea of what it is like to care for sicker patients than you will find anywhere else. CCU's can vary greatly on there acuity levels, so it would have to be a CCU in a large academic center. Same goes for ER. Only large trauma centers can consider their ERs as "critical care" experience. Don't get me wrong, I know ERs get lots of sick patients, but as far as gaining appropriate experience for CRNA school, ICU is the way to go.
    As for gaining experience as a CNA prior to nursing, ER, ICU or OR would be fine. It may be good to get some exposure to the OR as a CNA and get to know the CRNAs and what they do. This may help you decide if becoming a CRNA is a goal you wish to persue. Good luck.
  12. by   dreamon
    Thanks for clearing that up CougRN and TraumaNurse. After rereading my post, I meant to ask what was the difference between Med-Surg and ICU. But I see now from reading your posts that ICU is the way to go. Thanks again.

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