respiratory therapists becoming CRNAs????

  1. 0
    I am doing a preceptorship in the SICU and heard one of the respiratory therapy students talking about becoming a CRNA. This poses several questions for me... How are you a NURSE anesthetist with no nursing experience??? How do you get the year minimum of critical care experience if you aren't a nurse? I understand that they do work in the ICUs but definitely not in the context that a nurse does. They suction, gives nebs, manage vents, etc. etc. etc. They have no experience managing Swans, multiple vasoactive drips, etc. I am really perplexed! My preceptor also was very against this as he has been an ICU nurse fo 16 years! What are your thoughts on this? Is this common? Do you feel a respiratory therapist can have the skills and knowledge to become a good CRNA?
  2. 17 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    Take a deep breath and relax. The only way the RT can become a CRNA is by going back and becoming an RN and getting the critical care experience as an RN. No program will risk their accreditation by admitting anyone who does not meet the criteria set by the Council on Accreditation. Those criteria are Licensure as an RN, hold appropriate baccalaureate degree, and minimum of 1 year acute care experience as an RN (the schools are free to define what acute care they will accept or to have more stringent requirements). Whether they have the skills and knowledge is something for the program to judge. Good Luck
    Marie2222 and Tinabeanrn like this.
  4. 0
    An RT can get into crna school...only if they are also an RN with at least one year of ICU NURSING experience. I work with a couple RTs that are also in school to get their BSN with the goal of applying to crna school after they get their ICU nursing experience.

    This may be what the RT students in question were referring to. Unless they were totally oblivious of the process to become a crna in which case they will figure it out once they have A.) been educated on the process or B.) been educated on the process after wasting a good chunk of their time spinning their wheels.
  5. 1
    If you are not first a NURSE than you can not become a NURSE Anesthetist. This is simply not possible. Perhaps this RT student is planning on returing to school to earn a nursing degree.

    Just as an FYI, in some hospitals the RT staff perform the cardiac measurements via the Swan-Ganz. Granted they probably do not adjust the gtts. In my RT program we covered hemodynamics much more indepth than in my ADN nursing program. That said, I totally understand that most RN's learn the in's and out's of critical care in the work setting, in intense critical care courses, and from very experienced preceptors who have years of knowledge/experience. Even if all RT programs teach hemodynamics intensly, practicing this is much more the exception than the rule.

    Long and short of it is that the RN's manageing the pt care should be in control of the hemodynamic monitoring and vasoactive gtt adjustment based on the info gained. Any RT who wants to become a CRNA must first become an RN....no two ways about it.

    Arnie, SRNA
    Ventjock likes this.
  6. 0
    A respiratory therapist cannot become a CRNA without first going to nursing school and becoming an RN and then gaining at minimum 1 year of critical care experience as an RN.

    DM
  7. 2
    [quote][/They have no experience managing Swans,QUOTE]

    This is not true. I have attended both respiratory school and nursing school. I learned (and had to know in order to graduate and pass the board exams) so much more critical care in respiratory school than in nursing school. In fact, I was highly disappointed in nursing school after being an RRT for 12 years.

    Less than four years ago the respiratory department turned the management of a-lines and swans over to nursing at my facility. Previously they assisted with all insertions, did all line pulls, shot the outputs, wedged the PA caths, etc.. Nusing still, on occasion, calls respiratory to help with insertions and with trouble shooting.

    It is a shame that respiratory doesn't do a better job of promoting the profession, nurses rarely know and/or acknowledge the knowledge and experience the RRT can bring to the unit.

    I know many CRNA's hate to hear this but, the only reason I went to nursing school was to someday gain entrance to a CRNA program. My years of managing vents, intubating, drawing gases and intrepreting them, pushing meds down ETT's, and etc. doesn't mean a whole lot for admission to CRNA school. The thing that will probably count more will be my 2 years experience in the CVICU as an RN.

    Lisa RRT/RN
    RRT2RN2CRNA and Cardiowheezer like this.
  8. 0
    Well I was just going by what I see the respiratory therapists do on our unit. In our SICU the RRTs do not touch Swan lines or any of the other stuff you mentioned. It is a shame that nurses don't know more about what RRTs do. BUT, it is also a shame that most of the public think all nurses do is wipe butts and answer call lights haha.



    [QUOTE=LisaRRT;2086601]
    [/They have no experience managing Swans,QUOTE]

    This is not true. I have attended both respiratory school and nursing school. I learned (and had to know in order to graduate and pass the board exams) so much more critical care in respiratory school than in nursing school. In fact, I was highly disappointed in nursing school after being an RRT for 12 years.

    Less than four years ago the respiratory department turned the management of a-lines and swans over to nursing at my facility. Previously they assisted with all insertions, did all line pulls, shot the outputs, wedged the PA caths, etc.. Nusing still, on occasion, calls respiratory to help with insertions and with trouble shooting.

    It is a shame that respiratory doesn't do a better job of promoting the profession, nurses rarely know and/or acknowledge the knowledge and experience the RRT can bring to the unit.

    I know many CRNA's hate to hear this but, the only reason I went to nursing school was to someday gain entrance to a CRNA program. My years of managing vents, intubating, drawing gases and intrepreting them, pushing meds down ETT's, and etc. doesn't mean a whole lot for admission to CRNA school. The thing that will probably count more will be my 2 years experience in the CVICU as an RN.

    Lisa RRT/RN
  9. 0
    I agree
  10. 0
    The former RTs in our program (they also became RNs) are excellent students.
  11. 1
    Most of you are talking about techniques and recipe cards. I hate to inform you, but anesthesia is much different. Sure there are techniques to learn, IVs and Intubations, regional blocks and invasive monitoring. But what makes anesthesia different, is that you have to make decisions (and the CORRECT decision) based upon a considerable amount of knowledge. You analyze moment to moment, modify, adapt and change as needed. All the while there is a surgical procedure going on, other things to consider, and a lot of people who have a vested interest in what you are doing.

    You make independent decisions and the wrong one can be life-threatening. I know, I know, I know that you make independent decisions in ICU, but somewhere there are orders, standing orders, protocols, or procedures that you must follow. In anesthesia, there are no such orders or protocols. You are educated to make your own decisions and there are good reasons why you have to be a nurse first.

    That is what makes it fun and what we get paid for.

    Ali
    diosadelsol likes this.


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