CRNA anything like nursing?

  1. I was wondering if being a CRNA is anything like being a hospital nurse. The reason is I currently hate my RN job after only 6 months.

    I graduated from an RN program last May and am working towards a CRNA degree. I took a job in CVSU at the hospital nearby (about 450 beds) as opposed to the ICU position I was offered in a 200 bed hospital 45 min away since it was close and paid more. I was told I could transfer to a critical care unit after 6 months. Now I'm hearing it will take at least a year, maybe more to go to ICU or CCU, longer for CVRU.

    The problem is that I dread going to work. I love taking care of my pts, don't mind cleaning the hind ends, vomit, putting in foleys, etc. I don't know exactly why I don't like it, but I do. Sometimes I feel like I'm back to being a waitress, only with more responsibility.

    I can't imagine having to stay at least 6 more months and then work in ICU another 2 yrs (the schools around here that I've looked at all require 2 yrs experience in ICU). I've considered applying to another hospital, esp b/c we moved closer to the level I trauma center here--I figured I'd wait until I have 1 year experience at least, but what if that's worse? I have been in the OR observing 5 times now and like that atmosphere better. I observed an open heart a few months ago and the anesthesiologist let me stand by him while he explained things to me (the CRNA came in once in awhile but the MDA did most of the procedure) and I loved it!

    How do I get through these next few years? I'm trying to make the most of it, give it a chance. Am I just being a whiner? This is my second degree, already have a BS in conservation biology. I was the top student in my nursing courses. I don't want to keep going through school for a career I won't like again. I need some encouragement.
    Last edit by whatnext on Jan 10, '07
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   cozmo_blozmo
    CRNA is 1000 times better than nursing. Better hours, better pay, real autonomy and none of the complaining families or patients like on the floor. Work 1/10th as hard and be a million times happier with the job.
  4. by   GlowBear500
    That sounds very encouraging cozmo_blozmo. Thank you!

    I'm in a similar situation as you are whatnext. Only difference is that I've only just graduated from LPN school. But I feel exactly the same about the work on the hospital floor.I've tried so hard to make myself like it but I just don't. It had been my plan from the very beginning to go on for my RN and then my CRNA. But when I saw what the RN's job was like, I realized it's almost the same and I know I wouldn't like it much better. The CRNA on the other hand sounds like I would enjoy it much more but at the same time I'm nervous about spending all this time and money and then not liking it again.

    I hope there will be some more encouraging posts on here.

    And to all RN's and LPN's out there that enjoy their work please don't take any offense to this. I have very high regards for all of you, it's just not the right job for me.
  5. by   skipaway
    Quote from cozmo_blozmo
    Work 1/10th as hard
    Cozmo_blozmo, I'd like to see you defend this statement. Are you a CRNA?
  6. by   burn out
    I guess some certified Registered Nurse anesthetist do not like to think of themselves as nurses but they still fall under the same board of nursing as registered nurses. Maintaining a patient on full life support in ICU is quit similar to maintaining a patient during surgery. Some differences is that the anesthesilogist is right there with the crna during intubation (which the crna does perform) and is still responsible ultimately for the proper administration of drugs and treatment of the surgical patient . CRNA are not left with total autonomy to function freely they still have to follow the MD s orders just like a regular ole floor nurse. Being a CRNA enables a nurse to learn and expand skills and knowledge base which many find rewarding.
  7. by   louloubell1
    No kiddin cozmo...please defend what you are saying.

    While the physical demands of being a CRNA may be less than what most staff nurses encounter (i.e. less lifting, less running around like a mad person, etc) the work is not "1/10th as hard." That is a ridiculous statement, and is insulting to those who have put in the hard work and dedication in the nurse anesthesia field.
  8. by   Summitk2
    I think how to react to your situation depends on the job market in your area. While many hospitals need ICU nurses, I know there are some parts of the country who have plenty of applicants and won't consider new/recent graduates.

    If your current job is one of the few ways to get into an ICU, you may want to stick it out. If you could get an ICU job somewhere else, I would start looking now. Your decision also depends on how quickly you want to become a CRNA. If it's sooner, you're going to have to start making some sacrifices (further commute, less pay, odd hours, etc) and get into an ICU soon. If you like the CV patients, I would get into a unit where you can recover fresh hearts. It will prepare you well for being a strong applicant.
  9. by   jewelcutt
    Maintaining a patient on full life support in the ICU is not like maintaining the patient during surgery. And the CRNA has the autonomy to decide which drugs to give when. There are no standing orders from the docs. What we do with the MDAs is collaborate on the patient care. There are also various forms of anesthesia, not just a general with a tube that everyone thinks we "sit on". There are spinals, epidurals, sedation, and IV generals that are a lot harder to manage than people realize.
  10. by   WVUturtle514
    Maintaining a patient on full life support in ICU is quit similar to maintaining a patient during surgery. Some differences is that the anesthesilogist is right there with the crna during intubation (which the crna does perform) and is still responsible ultimately for the proper administration of drugs and treatment of the surgical patient . CRNA are not left with total autonomy to function freely they still have to follow the MD s orders just like a regular ole floor nurse. Being a CRNA enables a nurse to learn and expand skills and knowledge base which many find rewarding
    Exactly where are you getting your information from? Are you a CRNA/SRNA or have you shadowed one for a day? Contrary to popular belief, an anesthesiologist is not always "ultimately responsible for the proper administration of drugs and the treatment of the surgical patient." Have you ever been to a rural or community hospital where the only anesthesia providers are CRNA's and there may be one anesthesiologist on staff (meaning that the hospital has only hired one MDA, not that he's the only one there at the moment)? Are you aware that there are many anesthesia group practices that consist ONLY of CRNAs. Also, in many states, CRNAs ARE left with total autonomy to function freely and choose the anesthetic plan appropriate for that patient. In addition, CRNA's who do work in an ACT (anesthesia care team setting), generally collaborate and work with the anesthesiologist to decide on the proper course of action and by no means "follow the MD's orders like a regular floor nurse." The CRNA decides what drugs to give, when to give them and never requires an order from an MD. Maybe you should become a little more informed before you make statements that are grossly inaccurate. If you have any questions about the scope of practice of a CRNA, feel free to PM me and Iwill be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
    Last edit by WVUturtle514 on Jan 12, '07
  11. by   heartICU
    Quote from burn out
    Some differences is that the anesthesilogist is right there with the crna during intubation (which the crna does perform) and is still responsible ultimately for the proper administration of drugs and treatment of the surgical patient . CRNA are not left with total autonomy to function freely they still have to follow the MD s orders just like a regular ole floor nurse.
    Please don't spread incorrect information. This is not true. Some facilities choose to have a team approach to anesthesia, where the MD and CRNA are together for induction. Some facilities do not. In fact, many hospitals are CRNA only facilities. Secondly, CRNAs do not have to follow anyone's orders, regardless of the practice environment. As you claim to be a former SRNA from your previous posts, you should know this.
  12. by   passgasser
    Quote from cozmo_blozmo
    Work 1/10th as hard.....
    Absolutely correct. In fact, I work so little that I now have no stress in my life. I don't even need to sleep anymore. I don't lift patients, I don't run through the hospital to codes. Heck, most days I don't even move at all.
    Quote from burn out
    I guess some certified Registered Nurse anesthetist do not like to think of themselves as nurses but they still fall under the same board of nursing as registered nurses. Maintaining a patient on full life support in ICU is quit similar to maintaining a patient during surgery.
    Again, absolutely correct. I can't remember how many times as a staff RN in the ICU I gave drugs to induce unconsciousness in a patient, intubated the patient, then kept the patient alive while 20 different things were causing that patient's hemodynamic state to be in a constant state of flux. Of course, in the ICU as a staff RN, I was the one making the decisions about what drugs would best suit the patient, when the patient needed blood, and so forth. And I sure don't like to think of myself as a nurse. That's why I hide the initials RN between a "C" and an "A."

    Quote from burn out
    Some differences is that the anesthesilogist is right there with the crna during intubation (which the crna does perform) and is still responsible ultimately for the proper administration of drugs and treatment of the surgical patient . CRNA are not left with total autonomy to function freely they still have to follow the MD s orders just like a regular ole floor nurse. Being a CRNA enables a nurse to learn and expand skills and knowledge base which many find rewarding.
    Man, you really have us pegged. I've worked in hospitals without MDA's, and got paid a six figure salary to come in every day and discuss with the surgeon what kind of cases we would be doing that day if we just had an anesthesiologist. But, we didn't have one, so we of course couldn't do any surgery. So, after the discussion, usually at about 7:30, I'd go home and be on call. When something came in that needed emergent treatment, I'd go in and discuss with the physician what I'd do for the patient if there were an anesthesiologist on staff. Even now, when I work in a hospital with only one -ologist, the poor guy never gets to leave the hospital, cause I'm just a trained monkey, who can't induce anesthesia without him holding my hand. Can't do any epidurals either, unless he's standing right over me.
  13. by   Teacher2bCRNA
    this is the same route that i want to take. i am currently a teacher with a lot of student loans. right now, i can only afford to pay for an lpn program, plus it's the only part-time program that's near by. i thought about that accelerated bsn program, but that may require me to quit working which i can't. so hopefully i can "take" all of the things that come with lpn/rn until i make it to crna.

    Quote from anaya_1de
    that sounds very encouraging cozmo_blozmo. thank you!

    i'm in a similar situation as you are whatnext. only difference is that i've only just graduated from lpn school. but i feel exactly the same about the work on the hospital floor.i've tried so hard to make myself like it but i just don't. it had been my plan from the very beginning to go on for my rn and then my crna. but when i saw what the rn's job was like, i realized it's almost the same and i know i wouldn't like it much better. the crna on the other hand sounds like i would enjoy it much more but at the same time i'm nervous about spending all this time and money and then not liking it again.

    i hope there will be some more encouraging posts on here.

    and to all rn's and lpn's out there that enjoy their work please don't take any offense to this. i have very high regards for all of you, it's just not the right job for me.
  14. by   traumaRUs
    Passgasser - lol!

    Truly a CRNA is not an easy profession. There are no easy professions if you are a nurse. While the physical labor part may not be like a staff nurse - who do you think helps to move the unconscious patients from the OR table to the bed/cot/gurney? Also - physical labor is much easier than mental labor. When the buck stops with you and you are responsible for people's lives, it is very nerve-wracking.

    Yes, CRNA's earn six figures. However, in my book they earn every penny.

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