Preferred ICU experience for CRNA school?

  1. Just wondering if anyone could give me some direction regarding what experience is preferred when applying to CRNA school? In researching programs and different ICU's, it seems that SICU wins out on being the best. Currently I work in a fairly busy CCU. Since I haven't really had any experience with surgical patients in a critical care setting, I'm wondering what additional skills and knowlegde I might obtain if I did go that route? Any help would be great. If in fact I would be better prepared (CRNA school), I would consider moving to a bigger facility (Level I)and work in a SICU.

    Blake
    •  
  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   apaphoenix
    Blake,

    I can't quite say what is preferred by most, but I had mostly CCU experience and I got in. I think what they want to see is that you've had experience with vasoactive drips an with critically ill individuals. They want to make sure you wont get in there and panic because you don't know how to deal with hypotension, or something like that. I do think that working at a large facility does offer more opportunities for such experiences. Just my two cents.

    phoenix
    Last edit by apaphoenix on Jul 8, '03
  4. by   MICU RN
    Dittto, referring to the last post. when I spoke with a director of a crna program, she stated the same thing. Know your vasoactive drugs, vents, and gain exposure to critical patients. It didn't matter as much in regards to what unit you worked in to gain that experience. I currnently work in a MICU in a level one trauma hospital, but have also worked in the ER and SICU. I think you get the most exposure to the things I mentioned in SICU, but you can get enough in the other areas also, especially at the teaching hospitals and level one trauma hospitals. We even had an icu annex in the ER I worked in and we held the patients sometimes for days, but this was one of the busiest ER's in the nation and not the norm as for as ER's go. In most private ER's you stabalize the critical pt. and get him/her in the ICU as soon as possible. that is why most crna programs don't prefer ER experience, you don't manage the critical patients long enough. So to finally answer your question yes, working in the SICU definitely would not hurt, but you can get in with MICU experience also. At least that is what I am being told by the powers that be in the crna world.
  5. by   MICU RN
    Dittto, referring to the last post. when I spoke with a director of a crna program, she stated the same thing. Know your vasoactive drugs, vents, and gain exposure to critical patients. It didn't matter as much in regards to what unit you worked in to gain that experience. I currnently work in a MICU in a level one trauma hospital, but have also worked in the ER and SICU. I think you get the most exposure to the things I mentioned in SICU, but you can get enough in the other areas also, especially at the teaching hospitals and level one trauma hospitals. We even had an icu annex in the ER I worked in and we held the patients sometimes for days, but this was one of the busiest ER's in the nation and not the norm as for as ER's go. In most private ER's you stabalize the critical pt. and get him/her in the ICU as soon as possible. that is why most crna programs don't prefer ER experience, you don't manage the critical patients long enough. So to finally answer your question yes, working in the SICU definitely would not hurt, but you can get in with MICU experience also. At least that is what I am being told by the powers that be in the crna world.
  6. by   AL bug
    I worked in MICU in a large teaching hospital and got in to school. Another nurse from our unit went to CRNA school. Three nurses from our CCU, 3 from our SICU, and several from CVICU have gone to anesthesia school this yr. People from all these units have gone in the past also. Main focus is taking care of critically ill patients, no panicking in crisis situations, using vasoactive drugs, vents, swan-ganz catheters, etc. Any unit you work in that gives you these experiences will be sufficient but you have to convince the interviewers that you know what you are doing with all the "stuff".

    Anyway...good luck with the process. We know how difficult and involved it is.
  7. by   TexasCRNA
    Don't be so quick to doubt your critical care experience. You now work in an ICU and that is all you need to get in a program.

    Try to learn all you can on how to manage your patients and know the why in what you are doing.

    I just got done doing a research article in class on admission criteria for CRNA schools and it listed SICU as the 58% of apps accepted to school but there is still the other 42% of the other units and areas that were accepted.

    I had my experience from CCU and the ER. I do not feel that having SICU would have made any difference on my performance in CRNA school. I got all the drips,vents,swan lines,codes experience needed.

    However I believe that my ER experience put me ahead of those that did not have ER when it came to peds. I had already had much experience handling peds from working ER and this allowed me to excel with peds cases in anes school. Most of my classmates were terrified when it came to doing peds for they had only worked with adults in the units. I also had some experience with occ. OB doing ER which is something else you don't get in the unit.

    If you did anything I would go to a peds ER and add to your hands on experience, you've already got the critical care experience.

    Hope this helps, Lee.
  8. by   MIS
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and opinions. It helps to make tough decisions when others have taken the road before you. For other reasons too long to mention, I will probably stay where I am and soak up as much clinical experience as possible and request to cross-train to our CVICU after a while. Thanks again.

    Blake

Must Read Topics


close