Doing the right thing?

  1. Hi all,
    I am new to this site and seeking any advice I can get. I am 28 years old and currently working as an optometrist, though not happily. It has taken me a lot to accept this since it has taken so much school to get here. From a friend of a friend anestheologist I learned about CRNAs and began to research it. I became intersted to the point that I applied for an accelerated BSN program near me. If I had taken the time to learn about the profession of optometry before entering school, I would not be in this situation so that is what I am trying to do now. I know I would like the actual job, but I am trying to find out the real life situations that surround the job like...Once done with school how difficult is it to find a position especially in the cities (Cleveland/Columbus if anyone knows)? How difficult is it to get into the program? How do they select their students? Senority, appitude, who you know? How long are the wiat lists? I have seen the big salaries for the travling positions, do you still do well in the permenant ones? For you moms out there, how easy is it with a family? I read in one post about a program of having a garanteed seat in CRNA school if you go through their BSN program at Columbia, are there programs like that out there? What are the worst things about the job? Any advice would be SO APPRECIATED!! I don't want to make the wrong choice again!! Thanks in advance.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   tjditch
    Have you spent time with a CRNA. You have to realize you are going from a profession with total autonomy to a profession with varied autonomy based on where you work and what state you work in.
  4. by   CRNABH2b
    If I may ask in order to answer your questions well, why are you switching careers, what about your current career are you not happy with??
  5. by   traumaRUs
    CRNABH has a valid concern. It is best to analyze the reasons you want to change careers prior to jumping in. And...there is no guarantee that you will get to be a CRNA even if you do change to being an RN. First, you must have the BSN, then practice as an RN in an ICU setting (for most schools one year is the minimum requirement), take the GRE (maybe you have already done this,) obtain an interview, pass the interview and get a slot.

    Its not just as simple as saying "I think I'd like the job, so I'll go for it." Without an understanding of how the CRNA fits into the healthcare scheme, it is not solid reasoning to just decide this is what you want to do.

    The CRNA can be a rewarding career but it would be best to get some nursing experience under your belt to ensure you even like patient care.
  6. by   jenrodgers32
    Thanks for your responses so far. I certianly have researched the field, talked to CRNAs and I am planning on shadowing one soon. I did not wake up one morning and decide.."I think I want to be a CRNA?" I did work hard to get where I am and that is what makes this so frustrating. That is why I am trying to find out EVERYTHING I possibly can before I pursue this. I am aware of the training involved including working as an RN in the ICU and know none of this will be easy. I condisered the AA route since I am an Ohio native, but it just doesn't make sense they can do what CRNAs do since all the traing as an RN and critical care experience seems invaluable. As for why I am unhappy now?.. Hard to understand unless you are in this field. Corporate optometry (Lens Crafters, Walmart) has done much to damage our profession. When I came out of shcool it was near impossible to find a postion outside of this. When you work for corporate you are not employed, you are an idependent contrator which means you are paid only by patients you see, you are responsible for finding and paying someone when you want time off, you always work weekends, most time you have to do your own billing, not to mention no benefits. That is the job side..as for the profession side, I find it so uninteresting anymore, I am not challenged. That old better at 1 or 2 joke is kind of the truth. Most all disease I find and can treat I have to refer out to opthalmology because they are more trained at handling it. Although now I am in a good private practice setting with good hours, I still find myself hating coming to work and when I think of having to do this for another 30 years or so, I get into a bit of a panic. Not to mention the mobility with this job is just not there. I could open a practice of my own but that comes with a whole bunch of stresses of its own, which would be OK if I had a passion for what I did. Medicine has always called to me. I grew up the daughter of a radiologist and an RN. My brother is a radiologist. I wanted to go to med school but my mother steered me into optometry b/c she thought it would be a better career as a secondary income and better hours. Now I do not want to go back to med school and I am OK with not having that autonomy. As optometrists we are somewhat limited in autonomy with opthalmology always limiting your practice which varies state to state which seem much the same as what I am reading on the forums aout CRNAs ans MDAs. There is my life story in a nutshell...so sorry about the length. But please let me know your toughts, good and bad about satisfaction with the profession, job mobiltity, ability to balance family/work part time. I truely am trying to get as much info as possible. If you think I am nuts by all means let me know, you would agree with my mom.
  7. by   louloubell1
    jenrodgers,
    First, welcome to this board. I just wanted to tell you that I think it's great you are considering a change in careers. To me, being fulfilled and satisfied with what I'm doing is what it's all about. I thought it was interesting what you said about corporate control of your working options. I have always wondered about that kind of thing. When I was a kid, pharmacists all had their own drugstores, you know? And then came the day when Walgreens came to town, followed in short order by pharmacies at Walmart, the supermarket, etc., etc. And today, well those corner, privately owned pharmacies are few and far between, and I always think to myself how sad it is that a person would have to go to school for so long to end up having to work for Walmart. A small business just can't seem to compete. Sounds like it's the same type of thing for folks in your profession.

    Now, to address some of your questions:
    Once done with school how difficult is it to find a position especially in the cities (Cleveland/Columbus if anyone knows)? I can tell you that I am about to graduate from anesthesia school (in less than 3 weeks now ), & the recruiting from employers began as soon as I was accepted. There are many, many jobs out there. In the Cleveland area, Cleveland Clinic put on a big shindig at our national AANA meeting this past year, and they were recruiting hard! If you want to get a picture of the jobs that are out there, try visiting GasWork.com Anesthesia Employment Resource.

    How difficult is it to get into the program? How do they select their students? Senority, appitude, who you know? How long are the wiat lists? It is competative to get a spot in an anesthesia program, but really impossible to qualify how difficult, since much depends on the program, the pool of applicants that year, etc. Students are selected based upon each school's individual criteria which all must meet or exceed the minimum requirements set up by the AANA (for more info you can visit www.aana.com). Experience (in years, as well as quality of experience) in critical care, academic ability, and references are all taken into consideration when you apply. Who you know can be a factor, though admissions are decided upon by committees, so this may not be as big a help as a person might hope.

    I have seen the big salaries for the travling positions, do you still do well in the permenant ones? Again, I'll refer you to GasWork.com Anesthesia Employment Resource.

    For you moms out there, how easy is it with a family? I'm a wife to a wonderful man, and a mother to 4 children (10, 8, 6, 3), and I can tell you that it is not easy. It has been extremely difficult balancing family & school demands. That said, I did it. My husband is a hero, and took on so much of the burden, but it was difficult.

    I read in one post about a program of having a garanteed seat in CRNA school if you go through their BSN program at Columbia, are there programs like that out there? I have heard that there is a program out there like this, though for the life of me, I don't remember which program it is.

    What are the worst things about the job? Well, I don't start my first job as a nurse anesthetist until Feb (assuming I pass my boards, God willing), but to me, nurse anesthesia is the perfect career. Of course, what is gourmet to one is absolute slop to another. I would definitely encourage you to shadow, not just a CRNA, but also a nurse in critical care because you can't go straight to CRNA without that type of experience, and it would be important to see what you think of that job too.

    Good luck in whatever you do,
    Lou
  8. by   jenrodgers32
    Lou,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to try and help me out and a big congratulations to you for graduating!! That is wonderful, and accomplishing that with 4 children is incredible. My one question for you is how many years did you work in critial care? Do you know if they even consider students with only one or two years? I hope my acedemic background will help me out stand out a little more but I am just worried about that critical care experience end? Not to open a big area of controversy but how do the AAs get away with bypassing this? For my situation it would be easier to consider AA school but that knowledge and experience as an RN is seems invaluable?? As for the shadowing an RN in crital care, that is a good point. Luckily my aunt is the cheif RN for cardiac wing in a NJ hospital so I will get to go up there and spend time with both. thanks again for your time.
  9. by   louloubell1
    Quote from jenrodgers32
    Lou,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to try and help me out and a big congratulations to you for graduating!! That is wonderful, and accomplishing that with 4 children is incredible. My one question for you is how many years did you work in critial care? Do you know if they even consider students with only one or two years? I hope my acedemic background will help me out stand out a little more but I am just worried about that critical care experience end? Not to open a big area of controversy but how do the AAs get away with bypassing this? For my situation it would be easier to consider AA school but that knowledge and experience as an RN is seems invaluable?? As for the shadowing an RN in crital care, that is a good point. Luckily my aunt is the cheif RN for cardiac wing in a NJ hospital so I will get to go up there and spend time with both. thanks again for your time.
    I worked right around 2.5 yrs in ICU before starting the anesthesia program. AAs are not required to have this because they aren't subject to the either the board of nursing or the AANA requirements for nurse anesthesia students.

    Good luck in whatever you decide to do,
    Lou
  10. by   CRNABH2b
    Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and now I will answer yours. I understand how you must feel and completely agree with RN LOU that being fulfilled and satisfied with what you do is of the utmost importance. Getting into a program is competitive and varies depending on the applicant pool. The best advice I can give you is to apply to at least 3 schools if that is feasible for you. Just to give you some indication, I was accepted into my program with a 3.23 gpa overall (4years), 3.5 science gpa, and a 1260 GRE. I have 4 years general medical surgical ICU experience and three of it through a staffing agency. So, as you can see, it can be done, even if the gpa is not so stellar, and your experience does not come from a major medical trauma center, teaching hospital, or CVICU. My point is don't give up. As for the hours, CRNA's are allowed a lot of leeway. here in my town I know several who do only per diem work and get payed hourly ($115). The group covers the malpractice. One can also be on staff and work part time, or 3 days a week 12 hours, or 4 days a week 10 hours or 5 days a week 8 hours. Some facilities do not require call while others do. One of the major reasons I chose this profession was due to the flexibility in scheduling. When I decide to have children, I will only work part time, and I do not plan on taking call or working holidays. As for the profession itself it is a very challenging one, also a major reason I chose it. The amount of knowledge and skill required to do it excites me. I love to critically think and every case can bring new learning expriences. I hope this helps and wish you luck!

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