How do you really feel about AA and would you go that route now if you could do over?

  1. Just curious, I see all this information about AA's and now wonder how everyone in the field honestly feels about them.

    Also would this be the route you would have taken had the choice been available to you at the time you went to school?

    I am so curious about this route to education and not convinced but I am definately watching, as it may be a choice in my future.

    CRNA is still the route I want to take- but at the same time I will be learning all I can about this specialty.

    Thanks everyone!!
    Last edit by kukukajoo on Apr 30, '07
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  2. 41 Comments

  3. by   meandragonbrett
    It's not a new specialty. No, I would not change and go that route.
  4. by   kukukajoo
    Yes, I see that it isn't a new specialty, my bad. I meant a new option for me- I had never heard of it before and now I hear about all the time.

    It appears that CRNA is a more thorough course- is this true?
  5. by   RedCell
    Quote from kukukajoo
    Yes, I see that it isn't a new specialty, my bad. I meant a new option for me- I had never heard of it before and now I hear about all the time.

    It appears that CRNA is a more thorough course- is this true?

    If you are in nursing school, and will soon become an RN why would you want to go to AA school? These guys have been around since the late 60's, thanks to three anesthesiologists that thought AA's would be a quick fix to the then current shortage of anesthesia providers. Even today there are only 4 schools cranking out AA's with just <1500 in practice. They are allowed to work in approx 16 states, but required to hold license in 9. Some of the schools do not teach regional anesthesia which kind of blows, but to be fair, these guys can administer regional if an anesthesiologist is willing to teach them. You should know too that these guys always have to work under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist (CRNA does not). To me, since you are already in nursing school, the best option for pushing gas is a CRNA license. If you are really interested in the AA gimmick however, try contacting a dude who posts here as jwk. He is an AA who has being administering anesthesia since before many of us were born and really seems to know his stuff based on his posts.
  6. by   Josh L.Ac.
    The number of schools is expanding. Here in KC, one of the local schools [UMKC] is taking applications for their first class - and they will be doing some of their training at Truman, which has its own CRNA program [cue West Side Story music]. The prereq's look more difficult [premed versus nursing] and they require the MCAT...but their cutoff is 20. Wow.


    If speed is a factor, the program is only two years long and doesn't require 1-2 years of ICU. But as previously mentioned, you have to be supervised and you'll make slightly-to-substantially less money. But the ability to do epidurals would almost be worth it...

    [seriously, CRNA's cannot due epidurals? is that a national thing or a state thing? I heard this the other day...]
  7. by   heartICU
    Quote from kukukajoo

    Also would this be the route you would have taken had the choice been available to you at the time you went to school?
    This choice was available to me. I chose CRNA. The program I attended educated a former AA to be a CRNA, and from what I was told, that particular individual was blown away at the depth and breadth of information she was taught in CRNA school that she was not taught in AA school.
  8. by   jaznaa
    Quote from Josh L.Ac.
    The number of schools is expanding. Here in KC, one of the local schools [UMKC] is taking applications for their first class - and they will be doing some of their training at Truman, which has its own CRNA program [cue West Side Story music]. The prereq's look more difficult [premed versus nursing] and they require the MCAT...but their cutoff is 20. Wow.


    If speed is a factor, the program is only two years long and doesn't require 1-2 years of ICU. But as previously mentioned, you have to be supervised and you'll make slightly-to-substantially less money. But the ability to do epidurals would almost be worth it...

    [seriously, CRNA's cannot due epidurals? is that a national thing or a state thing? I heard this the other day...]

    Whomever informed you that CRNAs 'cannot do epidurals' is misinformed. I am a CRNA student and we do epidurals everyday. There are many rural hospitals that do not have AA's or Anesthesiologist on staff. CRNAs provide epidural and spinal anesthesia to these patients as well. Please do your research. CRNAs are NOT limited in the practice of anesthesia in any way. We provide ALL realms of anesthestic care.
  9. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from jaznaa
    Whomever informed you that CRNAs 'cannot do epidurals' is misinformed. I am a CRNA student and we do epidurals everyday. There are many rural hospitals that do not have AA's or Anesthesiologist on staff. CRNAs provide epidural and spinal anesthesia to these patients as well. Please do your research. CRNAs are NOT limited in the practice of anesthesia in any way. We provide ALL realms of anesthestic care.
    I already asked around today and it is hospital policy, not a local or state one. What is even more odd is that other HCA hospitals in the same city allow CRNAs to do epidurals.


    So the anesthesiologist wasn't misinformed, he was just talking about at the policy at his hospital...but I do wonder if he was trying to pimp me to the new AA program.
  10. by   jwk
    Quote from heartICU
    This choice was available to me. I chose CRNA. The program I attended educated a former AA to be a CRNA, and from what I was told, that particular individual was blown away at the depth and breadth of information she was taught in CRNA school that she was not taught in AA school.
    Gee, I was really enjoying this thread until this post.

    I've heard this urban myth for years. I have yet to find anyone that has done this or is willing to provide me the name of the person that has done this. I heard that someone told him that her best friend's mother-in-laws neighbor's grandson............. I think you're confusing the depth and breadth of med school and residency vs. CRNA school.

    Explain to me what you think that you get in CRNA school that we don't get in AA school. Nursing theory? AANA Politics 101? The idea that CRNA's get something in their programs that is just so much deeper and more broad that just blows away the AA's education is just ludicrous.

    As far as regional anesthesia - some AA programs teach it, and some do not, just like CRNA programs. There is no COA requirement that a nurse anesthesia educational program teach regional anesthesia. Many/most do, but it is not required. Likewise, any technique you do is hospital-specific as well. Any surgeon, physician, CRNA, AA, RT, PT, etc., is credentialled to work in that specific facility, and granted privileges based on their training and hospital policy. Thus while it is legal for a CRNA or AA to perform regional anesthesia, hospital policy may preclude that. It may be legal for a dermatologist to perform an appendectomy, but you'd be hard pressed to find a hospital that would grant them privileges to do so.

    Finally - AA's are not a "gimmick". We're here to stay.
    Last edit by jwk on May 3, '07
  11. by   CRNA, DNSc
    JWK- you are not correct when you indicate that there is no COA requirement for regional (in the past that was true). Today, students do have requirements for cases in adminstering spinal, epidural and peripheral anesthesia, failure to meet those requirements would not allow the graduate to take certification exam. So programs are required to teach it and students are required to do them.
  12. by   deepz
    Quote from jwk
    ........There is no COA requirement that a nurse anesthesia educational program teach regional anesthesia. Many/most do, but it is not required............

    Once again, as usual for an A$A mouthpiece, CATEGORICALLY untrue.

    COA requirements are currently that to graduate each student must have administered a minimum of 25 regional anesthetics and managed at least 30, but the suggested numbers are 50 SABs, 50 epidurals and 40 peripheral blocks.

    BTW, jwk, did you ever ask your boss if he still goes around claiming to have performed 300,000 anesthetics himself?

    ?!
  13. by   CerebralCRNA
    Quote from jwk
    Gee, I was really enjoying this thread until this post.

    I've heard this urban myth for years. I have yet to find anyone that has done this or is willing to provide me the name of the person that has done this. I heard that someone told him that her best friend's mother-in-laws neighbor's grandson............. I think you're confusing the depth and breadth of med school and residency vs. CRNA school.

    Explain to me what you think that you get in CRNA school that we don't get in AA school. Nursing theory? AANA Politics 101? The idea that CRNA's get something in their programs that is just so much deeper and more broad that just blows away the AA's education is just ludicrous.

    As far as regional anesthesia - some AA programs teach it, and some do not, just like CRNA programs. There is no COA requirement that a nurse anesthesia educational program teach regional anesthesia. Many/most do, but it is not required. Likewise, any technique you do is hospital-specific as well. Any surgeon, physician, CRNA, AA, RT, PT, etc., is credentialled to work in that specific facility, and granted privileges based on their training and hospital policy. Thus while it is legal for a CRNA or AA to perform regional anesthesia, hospital policy may preclude that. It may be legal for a dermatologist to perform an appendectomy, but you'd be hard pressed to find a hospital that would grant them privileges to do so.

    Finally - AA's are not a "gimmick". We're here to stay.
    JWK, your are absolutely wrong about those requirements, it is a requirement that ALL CRNA programs instruct regional techniques.
  14. by   RedCell
    jwk, no offense intended wih my previous statement man, I call damn near everything a gimmick

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