This is how it really is for this new CRNA - page 2

I can only speak for myself as a recent graduate. I took a rural Iowa position right of school (CRNA only). I am salaried with benefits at 190K per year. I work with another CRNA in a small rural... Read More

  1. by   CRNA2007
    I did not go into a CRNA only group. We are hospital employees but there are only 2 CRNAs here. I don't mind missing out on the big cases I did a lot of big cases as a student and to tell you the truth this is a lot more challenging. Now I have to review the chart order labs find out why the patient had an EKG 6 months ago showing A-fib but not currently treated by the primary doc. So I have to cancel general surgery (I would probably go ahead with a MAC for a colonoscopy) have the patient follow-up with the primary physician and be cleared medically for their surgery.
    Many times I find labs that were not ordered for patient's with bleeding issues, on diuretics, kidney problems and what not that were not caught by the primary physician or surgeon. Or I will find patient's that have parkinson's that the surgeon has ordered reglan postoperatively that I cancel the order and use zofran.
    It's been a challenge and I really come to appreciate having the anesthesiologist looking at the chart previously before surgery when I was a student. It can be a lot more challenging in the rural area but we are treated the same as physicians we get to know the staff very well and best of all I choose the anesthetic. I will run straight TIVAs (Total IntraVenous Anesthestics) on my patients with a sever history of N&V with surgery and then run into them at the local wal-mart only to have them thank me for the great anesthetic that I provided them.
    I go into work on my days off just to do cases because I enjoy it so much. After having about 15 different jobs in my lifetime this is the first that I really enjoy doing and look forward to every day of my life. I highly recommend this career to any of you evening questioning advance practice nursing. I too was worried about not having enough experience going straight to a rural practice, but I am really loving it. What is really nice about being a new grad is the fact that you seen so many different techniques/equipment that the old salts have never seen or heard of before.



    Quote from schway
    How did you feel going straight from school to a CRNA only group? Also, do you feel that you might be missing out on the big cases that help develop new CRNAs when fresh out of school? I ask because I might be in the same boat as you in a year....
  2. by   mzstacia
    I envy you right now CRNA2007! I am currently just a pre-nursing student in a BSN program. My ultimate goal is to become a CRNA. But at times, I don't think I will even finish my BSN program, so I have been discouraged alot as of late. I started school late because I didn't know what I wanted to do fresh out of school. I got caught up in the daily grind of working, and before I knew it, I was 28 years old. So, I just made a sacrifice for myself, to commit to school. I know that I want to be in your shoes one day. But the current RN salary is even looking good to me.

    I want to ask you if you ever feel nervous right before a surgery? Do you ever have time to spend with your family? Would you change anything about your schedule? How competitive are the CRNA programs? How long were you an RN before getting admitted into the program?

    Congrats to your success and may all your dreams come true for you and your family! Thanks in advance for your response.
  3. by   CRNA2007
    Just keep trudging forward and it will happen. I didn't start nursing school until I was 31 years old. I don't feel nervous right before surgery unless it is a side lying spinal (for a fractured hip). But intraoperatively it can be a different stroy. We had a very sick bowel resection case the other day where the guy had extensive cardiac and respiratory history as well as leukemia and a myriad of other significant health problems, where I didn't know if he wold get off the vent or even make it out of surgery. Got to place arterial line, central line (surgeon's teaching me) intiate and manage a cardizem drip bringing the intraoperativ eheart rate from the 140's to the 80's by the time he was in recovery and then a few other inputs postoperatively that would have been the anesthesiologists call if I would not be working in a rural practice. I definitely know what it was like to be in your shoes and I just took it one step or class at a time until I found myself with a BSN then in the application and interview stage where the waiting and hand wringing starts all over again while waiting to get accepted. Then once you get accepted it starts all over again when you actually start the CRNA program. the programs are pretty competitive, but I look back at some of the students in my class and wonder what the heck they were even doing there whether it was there total lack of motivation while in the program or their decision to apply while not really knowing what CRNAs actually do. But that falls more on the admissions comitte for not doing a very good job of screening applicants. I was a nurse for 2 years before I was accepted. I have never had more time to spend to with my family. I will get home by 1pm most days and my wife will tell my kid that I was working all day. The one thing I would change about the schedule is hiring a third anesthetist and getting every third week completely off. Bump the pay down to about $140-150K but it then I could work lochums in other places every third week.




    Quote from mzstacia
    I envy you right now CRNA2007! I am currently just a pre-nursing student in a BSN program. My ultimate goal is to become a CRNA. But at times, I don't think I will even finish my BSN program, so I have been discouraged alot as of late. I started school late because I didn't know what I wanted to do fresh out of school. I got caught up in the daily grind of working, and before I knew it, I was 28 years old. So, I just made a sacrifice for myself, to commit to school. I know that I want to be in your shoes one day. But the current RN salary is even looking good to me.

    I want to ask you if you ever feel nervous right before a surgery? Do you ever have time to spend with your family? Would you change anything about your schedule? How competitive are the CRNA programs? How long were you an RN before getting admitted into the program?

    Congrats to your success and may all your dreams come true for you and your family! Thanks in advance for your response.
    Last edit by CRNA2007 on Dec 6, '07
  4. by   lifeLONGstudent
    CRNA 2007



    Would you send me an application. I should graduate around 2010



    LifeLONGstudent
  5. by   schway
    sounds like you need to be very flexible and nail your pre-ops...one question though, were you not exposed to central line placement opportunities while in anesthesia school? just wondering if other programs out there aren't getting chances to place lines...
  6. by   CRNA2007
    No central lines in my CRNA program, some people might have had 1 or 2 in a rural site but that was it and then I only know of 1 student that got to place them. I'm


    Quote from schway
    sounds like you need to be very flexible and nail your pre-ops...one question though, were you not exposed to central line placement opportunities while in anesthesia school? just wondering if other programs out there aren't getting chances to place lines...
  7. by   CRNA2007
    No central lines in my CRNA program, some people might have had 1 or 2 in a rural site but that was it and then I only know of 1 student that got to place them. I'm sure there are other programs out there where CRNAs are getting to place them but in general with the Docs that is there territory.


    Quote from schway
    sounds like you need to be very flexible and nail your pre-ops...one question though, were you not exposed to central line placement opportunities while in anesthesia school? just wondering if other programs out there aren't getting chances to place lines...
  8. by   Qwiigley
    These type of positions are kinda rare. I suggest asking more CRNAs the type of work they do as well as types of cases, how much of their license they use as well as how much overtime they are forced to work.
  9. by   louloubell1
    Quote from CRNA2007
    No central lines in my CRNA program, some people might have had 1 or 2 in a rural site but that was it and then I only know of 1 student that got to place them. I'm sure there are other programs out there where CRNAs are getting to place them but in general with the Docs that is there territory.
    Is there not a minimum requirement for central line placements? I could have sworn that students had to place a minimum of 5 to fulfill requirements.
  10. by   Freedom42
    Quote from CRNA2007
    I can only speak for myself as a recent graduate. I took a rural Iowa position right of school (CRNA only). I am salaried with benefits at 190K per year.
    I posted this question on another CRNA thread but did not receive an answer, so I thought I'd try again here: Do you pay for your own liability insurance and, if so, what percentage of your gross does the premium reflect? I hear about these fantastic jobs in rural parts of my state, but then I hear that liability coverage can cost $50,000 or more. Is any of that accurate?
  11. by   Qwiigley
    Liability coverage: Check with the AANA website for details. But I think that liability insurance starts at $5,000 for the first year and GOES UP for the next 5 years. (more cases to cover). You can figure out your own %.
    Also, from the above, there is a minimum amount of central lines that need to be placed while in school to graduate. Your school may have "fudged" those figures, but be assured, this is not, "docs territory." It may be in your practice, but be careful what you say in general. CRNAs are licensed to perform line placement. It is up to your facility to determine if you are privileged to do so.
  12. by   labcat01
    I wish I was remotely interested in becoming a CRNA...it sounds like a lovely job.
  13. by   Freedom42
    Thanks for the response on liability insurance. I did check with AANA, but their website is password-protected and requires a log-in by members. If anyone else can fill me in on insurance costs for CRNAs and who typically pays them, nurse or employer, I would appreciate it.

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