To those who have been accepted to CRNA school, and are awaiting class start dates (or perhaps are already in classes), I have a little advice.
First, since you are reading this, I don't have to tell you to get and become familiar with a computer. But if you know of a classmate who has not yet entered the computer age, tell them now is the time to start. One of my classmates had never owned or used a computer before beginning class, and was put seriously behind when things started. He ended up having to buy and learn a computer in the first two months of the program, and was at a very serious disadvantage. He ended up failing out.
Second, there are a couple of computer aids I would recommend. The first is The Electronic Anesthesiology Library (TEAL). You can learn more at the following site:
This is a CD ROM that contains the full contents of five major anesthesia journals for the last five years. It is expensive, but if your program requires a "journal club" (and almost all of them do), it will cut down enormously on the amount of time you have to spend in the library. You will be able to access journal articles by title, author or subject matter at home, on your computer. What's more, you will be able to print out the journal articles at home.
Next, consider buying a speech to text program. About half way through my first semester, I found my arms cramping from all the typing I was doing. So, I went out and bought Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred. Again, it's an expensive program, but it helped me a lot. However, not all of my classmates were as fond of it as I was. Essentially, it turns your speech into a text on the computer. It takes a little getting used to, so if you decide to get it, I would do so before school starts, and practice with it. Before you buy it (or any speech to text program), check with the computer whiz at the store to ensure it will work well on your computer.
May 18, '02
Power point is very easy to learn. I learned it in about an hour. I still don't know how to do most spread sheets. Don't worry about that too much. I don't think I ever had to work up a spread sheet from scratch.
I guess I'm glad I waited till I was older before becoming an RN and a CRNA. The computer greatly reduced the amount of time it took me to do certain things, particularly repetitive tasks. I had a format sheet for my care plans
, so all I had to do was "fill in the blanks." Still spent a lot of time looking things up, but there was a lot of repetition I did not have to do that you did. And let's not even talk about the ability to use the internet to do research.
Last edit by kmchugh on May 18, '02