Are CRNA programs with simulation labs better?

Specialties CRNA


I was wondering if anyone out there can shed some light on the importance of simulation labs in regards to how, or if, they prepare you to be a better CRNA. I have been accepted to two CRNA programs, one with a simulation lab, and one without. I have good reasons to go to both schools and cannot make up my mind. Please help me decide!!:confused:


457 Posts

we do some simulator work, and i would have to say that anything that can give you a chance to do the repetitions for induction sequence, troubleshooting etc is worthwhile. after my 4th day at clinical tho i can tell you, a dummy's airway aint nothin like a live person. but learning how to handle a laryngoscope blade, a tube, mask etc is excellent. it is also a little funny how after however many years you were an icu nurse or rr or er nurse, when you step into that OR it's like the first time you ever saw a patient, i get all clammy and nervous. but they are still the same people you used to take care of, only now you gotta learn how to take care of them a little differently...ok a lot differently,but remember airway breathing circulation.



21 Posts


A simulator lab can prove to be valuable, but you must also look at how much time is spent in there. It may not prove as valuable if students rarely use the simulator. You should also look at the curriculum each program has to offer. Clinical opportunities are another important factor to weigh in. I guess what I'm getting at is don't just use one factor to weigh your decision. If the one without the simulator seems to be a better fit, go for it!

Good luck!


1,093 Posts

my program has us doing the sim-man every other wed for our entire first semester - we play w/ him (no pun intended) for the first month then feb start actual pt's


2 Posts

Thanks for the replies guys. I've decided to go to the program without a simulation lab (CAMC), mostly for personal reasons, and it seems from everything that I've heard that it is a good program. Thanks again for the input. Looking forward to getting into a great profession.

Brenna's Dad

394 Posts

I think real humans provide the best kind of simulation.

Practicing on real patients is how it's always been done. Why change now??

Could someone shed some light on what kinds of experiences the simulator can provide??

I just had a quick question. I got to practice intubating while taking ACLS, and on a couple occasions I kept chipping the dummy's teeth with the laryngoscope. Is there a technique you guys use to prevent that? Have you guys ever knocked any live person's teeth out while doing that?


612 Posts

Brenna's Dad,

It really depends on what simulator you are using. They are not all created equal. At my old job they had one that cost about$250,000. It had all the bells and whistles. We used it for our advanced airway training as a flight nurse and they were starting to use it for ACLS. These simulators have working pupils, heart sounds, breath sounds and pulses. All of these things can be manipulated by the person in the control room. The sim could even stiffen lungs and make it harder to bag or swell the epiglottis while you were trying to intubate so you were forced to perform a cric. It was an amazing machine. I agree that there is no substitute for the real thing, but this was a truely amazing tool.

That said, a couple of the CRNA schools I looked at had simulators but had the $35,000 version and could not do a lot of the things it's more expensive cousin can do. Still helpful but not as cool to work with. I am trying to decide b/w to schools, one of which has a simulator. As neat as I think they are, I will probably be choosing the school without the sim man for other reasons.


I think the key is to pull up and away from the patient (about 45 degree angle) and not rock the laryngoscope back. Rocking back breaks teeth. It's been a while for me so I am looking forward to intubating again in school. In my time as a flight nurse, I have been lucky enough not to break any teeth.

Brenna's Dad

394 Posts


As trauma stated, the technique used is to pull up and away, instead of rocking to achieve your view.

A lot of instructors told me to pull toward where the ceiling and the wall meet. This helped some.

Breaking teeth is a big time anesthesia no-no. Bad for you if your unlucky enough to do this as a student.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X