School was definitely difficult. I had to study hours on end, my grades did not come without significant effort put forth. I went to a front loaded program. While there were days I thought I would never touch a human patient, going into the clinical setting with a strong knowledge base eased the anxiety.
One of the greatest benefits of a front loaded program is not having to get up at 5 am, work all day, then get home at 5 pm and attempt to focus intently on difficult physiological concepts for the exam the next day. Another benefit is having the time to learn the material presented in the courses extremely well by focusing on just didactics. The bulk of the course work is done the first two semesters and summer had more clinically based classes. Once I hit clinical, doing care plans
involved putting all that stuff I learned together for each specific patient.
Neither program, front-loaded or integrated, is easy. And they both have their pros and cons.
Was all that hard work worth it? Absolutely, YES! I enjoy my work, some days more than others, but overall I definitely enjoy what I do. I have never regretted the decision to become a CRNA.