SRNA's: Study Schedules, Sleep, Sanity?

  1. Current and past SRNA's:

    I'm starting my education this fall, and would like to hear from SRNA's on how they are managing their time and what works for them to keep their balance and sanity during the semesters. I'm already getting overwhelmed when I think of what's entailed to be successful, but I don't want to "burn out" early. I understand the time involved, but please share what's working for you since you're the "been there, done that" crowd in my eyes. Do you take any days off on the weekend? How much sleep do you try to get?(to function at least coherently) What do you do for "fun" to get away from the books for a short while?

    Also, if you could do the first year over now knowing what you know (Not that anyone I've talked to would do it a second time!:chuckle ) what would you have done different?

    Finally, any good "on the side" texts that you feel are great supplements to help understand some of the difficult concepts during school. Physiology, Pharm, ect. would be greatly appreciated. Good luck to all on finals this semester!
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  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   nilepoc
    GOTO www.nilepoc.com and click on the srna link (neon)
  4. by   alansmith52
    when people say they are going crazy I dont think they are joking. really. right now I could just as easily cry or laugh. I go on a date with my wife on fridays.. that is pretty much it. serious. on the breaks I break. we have two weeks and I almost can't read anymore. or at least only for short periods.
    you need to devise a system and stick to it. if your not doing well change it immeadiatly. my/our(my group) system has evlolved from study on your own and well meet on sat. to study for an hour then we meet over and over and over. to now its every man for himself.
    the one study guide that I have found most effective was for inhaled anesthetics. dr. Eger produced some DVD's called um... i think the distiguished professor. we got them for free some how. but he teaches the concepts on the dvd so well I think.
    although I would assuredly never do this again I am so glad that I have. i cant see any other way a person could cram so much knowledge into their noggen in such short time. and it hurts.
  5. by   arkgolfer
    Ditto to what Matt said, without the typos Not sure where you're going, but I'm sure they are all just as painful. Develop a game plan for studying, first and foremost. This will be your job for the next 2+ years, so treat it as such. I tried to get in 6-8 hours per day between studying and classtime. Sometimes I made it, sometimes not. Some days you will work less, some days you get a LOT of overtime. Don't get behind. After each class, try to be prepared to take a test on the material you covered by the next class. That will keep you on track, and not cramming the weekend before a test.

    As for getting ready before school starts, pick up the Evelyn Wood book on speed reading. There are great tips for increasing comprehension. Wish I would have put a little more time in that last summer.

    All in all, good luck and hang on for the ride of your life!
  6. by   athomas91
    don't worry about what texts - you will buy them all from the get-go...my advice is rest now...most of my days consist of getting up at 0500 - getting home -if i am lucky- by 5 or 6 pm - eat, study, exercise x 1 hour - shower and hit the sack at 10 or 11 - and do it all again...it is rather tiring and overwhelming - but it is fun if you like to learn -
  7. by   atainey
    I have a sincere question, please don't take this as a poke at SRNA's or the posts thus far.

    Is it possible that those who are starting as SRNA's have been out of school long enough that they've forgotten the rigorous schedule of academia in general? It appears to me that the didactic life of an SRNA isn't terribly different from a medical student, a law student, or any other difficult graduate profession. Why the extra fear and emphasis on it?

    Arkgolfer's post "I tried to get in 6-8 hours per day between studying and classtime" is the only numeric measurement I have sofar, but this sounds like any number of other full-time college/graduate students. My husband spends 8-12 hours a day just on undergraduate studies, and while I know being an SRNA will be more intensive, he won't have the added pressure of employment added to it like he does now. Doesn't that make up the difference?

    I am interested in feedback from SRNA's and CRNA's. Thanks in advance for your input.
  8. by   NCgirl
    Clinical in anesthesia school is nothing like working as an RN (obviously). I think my point here is that after working 16 hours in the unit, I was not as tired as I now am after 8 hours in the OR doing cases. Doing cases is mentally and emotionally exhausting, not even considering the fact that I also got up at 4:15 to be in the OR by 5am. The lectures and tests....well that's a whole entire different ballgame. I have never studied things in such depth and detail, it's a different world from undergrad. Oh yeah, there's the busy work- papers, careplans, thesis, blah blah blah. My advice is to remember that as long as you learn the material, B's are GREAT!!! You will make the same amount of money as the person in your class who makes straight A's. I'd also recommend taking one day off per week. That's not always possible, but if you can double up study hours on one day, it's worth it to have the next "anesthesia free". And if your program does not require Jaffe's surgical procedures book, I highly recommend it. I could not do careplans without it! Best of luck to you!
  9. by   Nursekatydid
    Quote from nilepoc
    GOTO www.nilepoc.com and click on the srna link (neon)
    You mention in your journal entry on 10/06/03 that you didn't get "pimped" very hard but you were put on the spot. What does pimped mean in that text?
  10. by   nilepoc
    Quote from atainey
    I have a sincere question, please don't take this as a poke at SRNA's or the posts thus far.

    Is it possible that those who are starting as SRNA's have been out of school long enough that they've forgotten the rigorous schedule of academia in general? It appears to me that the didactic life of an SRNA isn't terribly different from a medical student, a law student, or any other difficult graduate profession. Why the extra fear and emphasis on it?
    I would say that no that is not the case, most of the people in my class had to take classes to get into the program and were used to studying. Additionally, a full time graduate student in most non anesthesia programs like you mention carries a load of 9 credit hours for full time status. During the fist three semesters I carried these amounts. Fall 15, Spring 17, Summer 10.

    Arkgolfer's post "I tried to get in 6-8 hours per day between studying and classtime" is the only numeric measurement I have sofar, but this sounds like any number of other full-time college/graduate students. My husband spends 8-12 hours a day just on undergraduate studies, and while I know being an SRNA will be more intensive, he won't have the added pressure of employment added to it like he does now. Doesn't that make up the difference?
    in a word "No". Does your husband fail out if he gets a grade less than an 83? We were required to take pathophysiology from the med school where I attend. While the med students took the same exams we did, they did not have to perform as well. They were allowed to pass, if they were within two standard deviations of the mean. We were only allowed to pass if we scored greater than 83% on a non curved scale. This was a 5 credit hour class, with three exams. During the same semester, I was enrolled in 12 additional credit hours, with similar requirements.

    Currently, I get up at 0430 and drive 40 minutes to my clinical site. I spend the day performing anesthesia on one to twelve patients during the day. I arrive home from this around 1900 and still have to prepare for the next days cases. If I am lucky, i get some studying in. On the weekends I study for my classes. There is no free time. Half of our grades are subjective, and an instructor or clinical faculty can fail us out at anytime for almost any reason. There is a great deal of stress related to this one aspect of our education.

    I am interested in feedback from SRNA's and CRNA's. Thanks in advance for your input.
  11. by   versatile_kat
    "Pmiped" is another word for getting questions drilled in the OR in front of other collegues ... usually you will see it with resident's (surgical/FP/anesthesia) on rounds from the attending at teaching hospitals. I think what most student's refer to when they talk about getting "pimped" is being asked a lot of tough clinical questions back to back before, during, and/or after a case by their CRNA or anesthesiologist. Just goes with the territory!
  12. by   nilepoc
    Quote from Nursekatydid
    You mention in your journal entry on 10/06/03 that you didn't get "pimped" very hard but you were put on the spot. What does pimped mean in that text?
    Pimped means, being asked questions that while relavent to the delivery of anesthesia, are not relavant particularly to the task at hand.

    Imagine during your induction and intubation, the attending of the day decides to ask you questions such as.

    How does a Sat probe work? (further so lambert Beer eh? what wave lengths of light? How does it work through nail polish? why does it work for dark skin? what will give you false readings?) During the process of answering these questions, you are expected to push your induction drugs, ventilate the patient and have a good outcome while getting the answers right to all the questions. Remember, there are as many as eight other people in the room with you, watching and listening.

    Other great pimping questions.

    How does your capnograph work?

    How much O2 is your patient consuming right now?

    How much CO2 is your patient producing right now. (say you answer that correctly the attending in one of my cases followed up with this gem) So if I told you, that you could make one change to your vent settings with the goal of having the patients CO2 end up at forty in one hour, what change would you make? If the CO2 on the monitor does not read forty in one hour your fired. How would you do it?

    I was asked this question while performing a hypotensive technique on a ASA 4 patient recieving a Crani.

    Basically a pimp is a question that tests your level of knowledge, and also your handling of stress.

    Craig
    Last edit by nilepoc on Apr 20, '04
  13. by   jbro
    i've found that 3hrs of studying is the most i can handle at one time, after that i stop absorbing things as well and end up reading over the same material repeatedly, and my mind starts to wonder. on days when we have class(mwf) i study for 3hrs after class and then i'm done for the day. on days we have off(tues. thur.) i go 3hrs in am, break for lunch and relax for a while, go work out etc. then put in another 3hrs in the evening. the day before a test i'll put in as much time as i need to feel comfortable, and then try to get a good nights sleep. i usually go out one night during the week and one night on the weekend. i've noticed some people study all the time even though they know the material, in my opinion its overkill, they get really stressed out and miserable, you have to make some time for yourself or else you'll go crazy, good luck
  14. by   WntrMute2
    Quote from atainey
    I have a sincere question, please don't take this as a poke at SRNA's or the posts thus far.

    Is it possible that those who are starting as SRNA's have been out of school long enough that they've forgotten the rigorous schedule of academia in general? It appears to me that the didactic life of an SRNA isn't terribly different from a medical student, a law student, or any other difficult graduate profession. Why the extra fear and emphasis on it?

    Arkgolfer's post "I tried to get in 6-8 hours per day between studying and classtime" is the only numeric measurement I have sofar, but this sounds like any number of other full-time college/graduate students. My husband spends 8-12 hours a day just on undergraduate studies, and while I know being an SRNA will be more intensive, he won't have the added pressure of employment added to it like he does now. Doesn't that make up the difference?

    I am interested in feedback from SRNA's and CRNA's. Thanks in advance for your input.

    The level of understanding needed is deep and the volume of material is staggering. The fear is well deserved. I was a 4.0 student in undergrad and was thought I was fully prepared for the rigors of NA school. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact I always felt behind in studing/keeping up with the neccessary material. I ended up keeping my average and doing well in clinical but the workload is unbelievable. Days start early and nights run late. Try doing a 12 hour day on your cardiac rotation, getting home at 9 PM and then getting paged at 3 AM to come in and do a heart transplant, talk about the walking dead. The standards are very high and everyone is working very hard to live up to those standards. You are right in comparing it to med school or lawyer school, they are stressed too.

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