Day in the life of a CRNA?

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    Hello! I am currently a nursing student in a BSN program. I still have a year left before I graduate, but I know that after I do and work for awhile, I want to go back to school for APN. I am still unsure of what sort of specialty I would want to go in to, and know I probably won't be sure until after I have gained some experience, but I just want to get a sense for what each specialty is like. So, for those who are CRNAs, what is a typical day like for you? What do you like about your job? What don't you like? Tell me a story about an interesting or favorite case/patient. Anything that will give me an idea of what it is like to be a CRNA. Thank you!
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    I think your best bet is to shadow a CRNA for a day. Check with your clinical instructor to see if they can set something up for you or try to set something up yourself.
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    Quote from ckh23
    I think your best bet is to shadow a CRNA for a day. Check with your clinical instructor to see if they can set something up for you or try to set something up yourself.
    Yeah. Agreed.

    If you have to set something up yourself - maybe talk to whatever unit manager you are currently doing clinicals on to see if they can help you with who you need to speak to in arranging this opportunity. Also, you may wanna speak to someone at your school's nursing office - they keep track of past grads (most schools do anyways) and as such, may know of a previous grad that is a CRNA employed in your area - and that MAY be the easiest way to accomplish this.
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    Administering anesthesia is the most fun someone can have and still get paid for it. My days are short-not many cases or very long--lots of OB and/or emergencies. You have a lot of information in your head and have seconds to figure out a difficult situation. On the other hand, it can be very boring, especially on long cases with slow surgeons. But then, I like boring when it comes to anesthesia, because that means things are going well. I know many CRNAs who are doing anesthesia well into their late 70's and still love it. Just so you don't think it is a piece of cake--anesthesia is applied pharmacology, so you have to be good in math, in problem solving and in keeping up with changes in anesthesia, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics and OB.
    are_you_a_llama likes this.
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    I'll sum up a typical day for me and tell you why I love what I do, but check out "a typical day in the life of an SRNA" in the SRNA forum if it is still there. There is a long way to go, and it is a demanding road before you become a CRNA, but it is well worth it.

    I usually wake up at 5:45 and leave for work at 6:15 to be here at 6:30. I do cases until we are done, then I go home. There is a whole lot in between arriving and leaving that you will see when you shadow. I love my job, because people who have never met me are trusting that I will get them through a frightening time alive and well. Anesthesia is an art, and beyond the baseline of getting a patient through the surgery alive and well, I pride myself on getting my patients feeling great and relaxed before induction and waking them up comfortable and with smiles on their faces in an efficient manner that keeps the OR rolling and the surgeons happy. While anesthesia can be cookie cutter in many cases, it certainly does not have to be, and I think it should not be. The days where I come in and all my bread and butter cases flow effortlessly to days end are great, but there are days that your repeat c-section hemorrhages unexpectedly and you work like mad inside but calmly outside to replace 3/4 of their blood volume safely and effectively while keeping them stable all the while reassuring them and never letting on that anything is amiss as the pt is awake with spinal anesthesia. The particular case I'm referring to outlasted the spinal and we had to eventually go to sleep. She was awake, extubated, pain free, and stable as a rock an hour later when we left the OR despite having to have an emergency hysterectomy to keep her from bleeding to death. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you are part of something like that and you leave seeing mom and baby together happy and well. Anesthesia is precisely, scientifically-magical, and I feel blessed that I get to do what I do every day and get paid well to boot. Good luck with whatever path you choose.
    are_you_a_llama, CareQueen, and C-lion like this.
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    thank you everyone for your responses

    unfortunately, hospitals are cracking down job shadowing. so far, no hospital near my school or back home will allow me to shadow because of HIPPA. it's becoming policy everywhere that the only people who can shadow are current employees looking into a new job within that hospital.
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    Hey, I'm not a crna but I work with them and the anesthesiologists all day long...they're soooo laid back and very down to earth (at least most the crnas are anyway lol). If you can, try to go the crna route. The schedule can be three 12s, four 10s, or five 8s. I could tell you what I see them do everyday, but I'd think you'd rather have one of them tell you what they do.
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    Quote from hoerla
    thank you everyone for your responses

    unfortunately, hospitals are cracking down job shadowing. so far, no hospital near my school or back home will allow me to shadow because of HIPPA. it's becoming policy everywhere that the only people who can shadow are current employees looking into a new job within that hospital.
    That's strictly a hospital issue. Plenty of hospitals allow observers - how do you think all those volunteers get in the door? Our hospital actually has some very simple credentialling requirements for observers - fill out a couple forms, including an explanation of and agreement to abide by HIPPA requirements regarding patient confidentiality, and have a current PPD. Our standard consent forms allow for observers/students.
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    Quote from Mr.FutureDNP23
    Hey, I'm not a crna but I work with them and the anesthesiologists all day long...they're soooo laid back and very down to earth (at least most the crnas are anyway lol). If you can, try to go the crna route. The schedule can be three 12s, four 10s, or five 8s. I could tell you what I see them do everyday, but I'd think you'd rather have one of them tell you what they do.
    You failed to mention the 24 hour shifts. Or the mornings you have to do a "few cases" post-call. I've driven to work in the middle of the night more times than I can remember to do an emergency case. Every third weekend on call.
    canchaser likes this.


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