I am probably going to get beat up for this. I'm sure the line will be that if I can't picture myself as a CRNA then I shouldn't be one. When I applied to the ICU internship, I had to write an essay about "why I want to be a critical care nurse." I asked for help on a different nursing forum, because what I really wanted was to be a CRNA and I didn't know how much I would love ICU. Someone said that if I didn't know what to say on the application I obviously wasn't someone to count on in a crisis, ie, not cut out for ICU. ?????
Anyway . . .
I can't envision myself calm, competent, running the show, bringing patients to the edge of death and back. I am a competent ICU nurse, I can do what needs to be done in a code or emergent intubation, but the docs run it all. I'm sure I could learn as well to be a competent OR nurse in a reasonable period of time. But I can't yet picture myself at the head of the bed. Can't imagine myself knowing as much as I will have to know, thinking as fast and as critically as CRNAs think. I guess what I'm saying is, I don't know if I can do this.
I'm sure a lot of this has to do with being young, female, and having a limited amount of nursing experience (2.5 yrs). I'm by nature a person not confident in my own abilities until I have demonstrated multiple times that I can do it and do it well. I was petrified as a new ICU nurse (weren't we all?) and couldn't picture myself running all this machinery, all the drips, the tubes and wires. Now I get a little nervous with a real sickie or a diagnosis I haven't seen much, but basically I walk into a room and get things done. So maybe it's just the way I am and it doesn't mean I don't have what it takes to be a CRNA.
It's like, it's okay for nurses to be nervous and if they have good colleagues they get support and reassurance. But being a CRNA is the big leagues and we have to act like doctors: we don't need to eat, sleep or pee as long as patients need us, and we never doubt ourselves.
Do most students struggle with this? It is such an awesome responsibility. I guess everyone has to be a little scared - if you're not THAT'S scary. I am still in the process of interviews and applications, not a student or even pre-student yet. Sometimes I think, I still have time to back out.