I've been a nurse for over a year now, graduating last spring with my BSN. Directly afterwards, I was employed on a med-surg/tele/stepdown floor for approximately 8 months, gave that up, and am now about to accept a job in a level II trauma ED. I've considered anesthesia since I began nursing school, but I have some doubts, as I also considered making my BSN into a pre-med deal. I hated med-surg nursing with a fiery purple passion, feeling that I was more "witness" than anything else, a body on a floor passing pills at the routine times while documenting essentially the same assessment for nearly every patient (only slightly patho-specific, incisions on TKAs, stab sites on laparoscopic appendectomies, etc.). For me, routines are more dangerous than anything else, as I grow bored with things very quickly, especially when I feel I'm no longer learning, and therefore I become lax about everything, more or less saying "hell with it." I loved college, loved the challenge; health was one of my worst subjects in high school. I managed to keep myself interested by only doing everything the day, or night, before. I ended up with a 3.63 cumulative at the end of my BSN, and a bunch of other stuff, including membership in Sigma Theta Tau. I'm posting mainly because I wanted to know if anyone else ever felt that way in general, disliking floor nursing and being crushed by the tedium, and furthermore, if anesthesia is much the same? My fiance ribs me frequently for being a "know-it-all," and I can't emphasize enough how much I love learning things. I know most CRNA programs favor ICU experience, but I was afraid that the ICU would be, more or less, a somewhat upgraded repeat of the med-surg phenomenon all over again, and wasn't about to sign on for that. The different lines, cuts, drips, drugs, etc., didn't bother me: I know my stuff, and if not, like a prudent nurse, find out everything I can about it. I come off to everyone as a calm, cool person, and I rarely get excited, but I figured I'd try trauma in the ED, hoping that it would not be more of the same ubiquitous routines, or, if so, it would be more exciting and hands-on, with greater emphasis on skills and etiologies on the run. That being said, I'm still considering applying to a CRNA program, hoping that the trauma/ED experience will set me apart (I once read a publication on medical school, which, summarized, stated that everyone pre-med was chemistry, biology, or physics, and during interviews, nonconventional majors, such as philosophy, garnered more attention.) But sometimes I have misgivings, feeling that I should take a few more chem and physics classes and just go to medical school (although physician hours would suck, hard.) I don't really know how to say it, and I guess I've rambled quite a bit, but if anyone could post anything to help me make a decision it would be great.
The authority of being a CRNA would be nice, being a midlevel practitioner, but the pay and hours would be better. Working OR hours with a six-figure income when I began my family would be great, even allow me to take a lot of time off between jobs to pursue more personal goals, but I don't know. I want to go on, go back to specialize in something worthwhile, and inaction is killing me: I just cannot make up my mind, and it's tearing me to pieces. Is that normal?
Once you decide that CRNA is the path you will travel, you need to get into an ICU. Most schools require ICU not ED experience.
As far as what you should do? Only you can make that decision. I would suggest shadowing a CRNA a few times to see if it is "challenging and interesting" enough for you.
May 2, '07
Only a few school accept ER experience, and it would have to atleast be a Level 1 trauma center. I dont think your step down or level II ED experience is enough at all. If you don't want an ICU, i think your best bet is to go to a Level 1 trauma center.