If you are looking for an idea of what you are "getting into," all I give you is my data to use as an example. I started my program January 10. The majority of the didactic portion was completed this spring and fall. We started clinical one day/week the third week of the program. The first three weeks of clinical, we were placed with a junior or senior student to observe and ease our way in. We were on our own with a CRNA starting week 4. During the two summer months, we had "40 hour clinical weeks" for two months. In the fall, we returned to the once a week schedule. This January 3, we started our full time clinical rotations that will last until we graduate in May 2012. SO..........In one year and one month, I have completed all but three research oriented (laid back) classes and completed 72 clinical days that total 684 hours and 191 cases.
Those hours do not include the 1 to 3 hours of careplanning each day. During the semesters, I basically was just trying to sleep when I could no longer stay up and study...for about 4 hours at a clip. I always get to the hospital between 5:30 and 5:45, and I usually end my OR time at 3pm or later depending on the cases I am in toward the end of the day; I will always stay and finish my case when 3pm rolls around. Then its off to get the next day's assignment and do chart reviews on my paitents or go and see my inpatients. I usually get home between 5:30 and 7pm and try to relax and unwind for an hour or so. I hit the sack and I am asleep by 9pm at the latest, and I get up at 2:30-3:30 depending on the extent of the careplans I need to do and do them when I wake up.
That is the cycle. When classes are going, you will find yourself studying until you can no longer study and ending up averaging 16-20 hours of class/studytime per day. During clinical, it will be your life when you are on, and you will have a couple of days off/week, so it is a little more normal.
It sounds like sheer insanity, and at times it is, but you will absoultely dig it and get through it. Good luck.