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Ask a CRNA any question you want

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by PaSSiNGaS PaSSiNGaS (Member)

PaSSiNGaS has 10 years experience and works as a CRNA.

2 Followers; 4,322 Visitors; 201 Posts

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You are reading page 3 of Ask a CRNA any question you want. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

568 Visitors; 12 Posts

I thought you needed to be competent to be a nurse. My question was pretty simple. Just because I haven't become a RN yet doesn't mean you can patronize me. I do enough research to know the criteria to become a CRNA. I wanted to gain information so I could make a better informed decision on what I would do after obtaining my BSN but I doubt your input is even relevant.

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PaSSiNGaS has 10 years experience and works as a CRNA.

2 Followers; 4,322 Visitors; 201 Posts

You're right. I guess because I didn't answer your question on a forum I must be incompetent. You're not even in nursing school and first thing you ask me is about salary and the lifestyle. Don't go into it just for the money and in regards to your post it showed you don't have a clue about your future goals which is why I said get your nursing degree first and see how you like it before worrying about optometry and anesthesia. Sorry you got butt hurt. You said you were accepted into an ADN and wanted more info now for when you complete a BSN which would still be 3-4 years from now then another 2 years working as an ICU nurse. Trust me there's no need for you to worry about it right now.

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568 Visitors; 12 Posts

The title of your topic was ask a CRNA any question. You answered someone else's question about salary but because I haven't finished school you felt I wasn't worth it. I'm not butt hurt just calling it like I see it. I digress, I've wasted enough of my valuable time conversing with a bigot.

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whichone'spink has 3 years experience and works as a RN.

24,444 Visitors; 1,473 Posts

And that's the problem with the CRNA profession. We are or at least should be trained to act as an independent practitioner, but then you get these stool monkeys that are totally fine just doing whatever a doc tells them and nothing more.

ACT practice is what it is and it is hard to become a solo independent practitioner unless you are willing to go to a rural area. There are very few independent CRNA only jobs in big cities. I work in an ACT practice now and will say you can easily tell the CRNAs who are capable of being independent and those that are fine just taking orders. Would I love to work in a fully independent practice, YOU BET, but I'm not willing to move to BFE and live in the woods.

My current practice I do everything from swans, alines, traumas, hearts, neuro, etc. except peripheral nerve blocks. Again I'd love to do those too but just not willing to move.

Thank you for your thoughtful answer to my somewhat derisive question. Since I started working in the PACU, I have been disappointed in what I've seen of the ACT model. The CRNAs for the most part are nothing more than underlings, and the anesthesiologists, save for a few are making bank not laying a hand on the patients. I bet many of the older anesthesiologists have not worked a solo case in decades. At one point, I wanted to be a CRNA but what I've seen has dashed any fantasies about being an independent anesthesia provider without the MD degree. It would just burn my butt to work under an anesthesiologist who works for less for a salary 4 times as much as a CRNA's salary.

I feel the same way about becoming a nurse practitioner now. I also thought of becoming a nurse practitioner at one point. But even in states where nurse practitioners can practice independently, they often still have to defer to a physician. If I had more of a bulls*** tolerance than I do now, I would just buck up and start the long journey towards becoming a physician. It would mean starting from scratch with classes, taking more exams and not to mention residency. I no longer have the tolerance towards anything clinical, so now I am getting a degree in something non-clinical.

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PaSSiNGaS has 10 years experience and works as a CRNA.

2 Followers; 4,322 Visitors; 201 Posts

Yea not all ACT models are the same. Some are very restrictive and some much less. Mine is an ACT and I did get lucky for the most part with the amount of autonomy I have because it could have been much worse.

If your hospital is real restrictive you could still go for CRNA and just find a more autonomous practice. I definitely don't regret doing it and make close to 200k

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3,645 Visitors; 88 Posts

Do you feel excited by your job as a CRNA? I know you said you like it (and in general, the CRNAs that I know love their jobs), but I absolutely love the adrenaline that I get from intense situations as a SICU nurse, and I wonder if long days in the OR might not be for me.

Also, do you get holidays off? Do you know CRNAs who work no nights, etc?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!

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PaSSiNGaS has 10 years experience and works as a CRNA.

2 Followers; 4,322 Visitors; 201 Posts

I would say yes I love my job and feel excited I get to do what I do, but if I won the lottery and had 100 million bucks you bet I'd quit in a heart beat haha. I too loved the exciting really sick patients I got in the ICU and the traumas that would come in and while the OR might not look like excitement like that it is still something I would do over being a bedside ICU nurse any day.

It's one thing to get a fresh heart out of the OR and wean them down off pressors and extubate them, but its very different when you are the one actually making the decisions in the OR what pressers to start, manage every aspect of a person's sympathetic nervous system and carry out your own orders as a CRNA. While you do take care of really sick patients in the ICU you are still just a RN and do not actually make decisions on your own. You follow a protocol or have to ask a doc to get something done. I actually make those orders and choose what I feel is most appropriate for the patient at that time without having to ask a doc.

If you shadow a CRNA in the OR it will look pretty boring as most of what we do is controlled and the patient isn't coding, but that is why we are compensated like we are. We get paid to keep the patient stable and not run into excitement of coding a patient. It's that 1% of the time when the patient does code that anesthesia is the one running the code in the OR, NOT the surgeon, NOT the circulating RN, but the CRNA which is me. There are definitely days I love when I get a crazy GSW into the OR and pump 40 units of product into the patient but there are plenty of other days I love getting simple ortho cases and relax.

For the most part we are off on holidays except for the few that may be on call, but nothing elective is usually scheduled on a holiday. There are all kinds of shifts for CRNAs. Me personally I don't do any weekends, but again there are all kinds of shifts to choose from. Most CRNA jobs do require the CRNA to take a weekend call once a month or every 6 weeks, but again I'm lucky and it isn't required.

Do you feel excited by your job as a CRNA? I know you said you like it (and in general, the CRNAs that I know love their jobs), but I absolutely love the adrenaline that I get from intense situations as a SICU nurse, and I wonder if long days in the OR might not be for me.

Also, do you get holidays off? Do you know CRNAs who work no nights, etc?

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!

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9,556 Visitors; 561 Posts

I would say yes I love my job and feel excited I get to do what I do, but if I won the lottery and had 100 million bucks you bet I'd quit in a heart beat haha. I too loved the exciting really sick patients I got in the ICU and the traumas that would come in and while the OR might not look like excitement like that it is still something I would do over being a bedside ICU nurse any day.

It's one thing to get a fresh heart out of the OR and wean them down off pressors and extubate them, but its very different when you are the one actually making the decisions in the OR what pressers to start, manage every aspect of a person's sympathetic nervous system and carry out your own orders as a CRNA. While you do take care of really sick patients in the ICU you are still just a RN and do not actually make decisions on your own. You follow a protocol or have to ask a doc to get something done. I actually make those orders and choose what I feel is most appropriate for the patient at that time without having to ask a doc.

If you shadow a CRNA in the OR it will look pretty boring as most of what we do is controlled and the patient isn't coding, but that is why we are compensated like we are. We get paid to keep the patient stable and not run into excitement of coding a patient. It's that 1% of the time when the patient does code that anesthesia is the one running the code in the OR, NOT the surgeon, NOT the circulating RN, but the CRNA which is me. There are definitely days I love when I get a crazy GSW into the OR and pump 40 units of product into the patient but there are plenty of other days I love getting simple ortho cases and relax.

For the most part we are off on holidays except for the few that may be on call, but nothing elective is usually scheduled on a holiday. There are all kinds of shifts for CRNAs. Me personally I don't do any weekends, but again there are all kinds of shifts to choose from. Most CRNA jobs do require the CRNA to take a weekend call once a month or every 6 weeks, but again I'm lucky and it isn't required.

When I had to do my OR clinicals, the nurse who was supposed to be with me stated that she did not understand why they would send LPN students to the OR when we could never expect to actually work there. She put me behind the OR door and told me, "stay" and walked away. The CRNA watched the whole thing go down and was not amused. She came and got me, put a stool at the patient's head and that's where I stayed the entire week. It was the single most awesome week of nursing school for me, and one I've thought about a lot since. I found the whole week to be fascinating, all of the calculations, intubating, extubating, etc.

Something as simple as doing the little shocky thing to make sure the patient wasn't waking up had me enthralled. She truly did love her job, which showed. I have finally made the plunge to get my butt back in school and I'll be starting the LPN-RN in a few months.

I always had CRNA at the back of my mind, but I'm concerned about the lack of family time. I have 4 kids and a husband. The CRNA I was with that week said that I would never see my family because I'd always be on the run. She advised that I take that route once my kids were older.

Do you think that is true in general, or just specific specialties?

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PaSSiNGaS has 10 years experience and works as a CRNA.

2 Followers; 4,322 Visitors; 201 Posts

During school you will be very busy. It will only be 3 years of your life then you will be much better off. It is tough when you have kids because you will be away from them for long hours during school but I don't regret it.

When I had to do my OR clinicals, the nurse who was supposed to be with me stated that she did not understand why they would send LPN students to the OR when we could never expect to actually work there. She put me behind the OR door and told me, "stay" and walked away. The CRNA watched the whole thing go down and was not amused. She came and got me, put a stool at the patient's head and that's where I stayed the entire week. It was the single most awesome week of nursing school for me, and one I've thought about a lot since. I found the whole week to be fascinating, all of the calculations, intubating, extubating, etc.

Something as simple as doing the little shocky thing to make sure the patient wasn't waking up had me enthralled. She truly did love her job, which showed. I have finally made the plunge to get my butt back in school and I'll be starting the LPN-RN in a few months.

I always had CRNA at the back of my mind, but I'm concerned about the lack of family time. I have 4 kids and a husband. The CRNA I was with that week said that I would never see my family because I'd always be on the run. She advised that I take that route once my kids were older.

Do you think that is true in general, or just specific specialties?

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22,597 Visitors; 1,871 Posts

The title of your topic was ask a CRNA any question. You answered someone else's question about salary but because I haven't finished school you felt I wasn't worth it. I'm not butt hurt just calling it like I see it. I digress, I've wasted enough of my valuable time conversing with a bigot.

Just come out and say it, you want to be a CRNA for the money. It's okay this is a safe place...lol

Someone coming on here with two WIDELY different career paths in mind plus asking about CRNA usually means one thing. You get paid a lot, it's stressful and you will probably work weird hours since OR gets called in all the time.

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517 Visitors; 9 Posts

S-Hello, I am interested in becoming a CRNA and am looking for advice/tips for getting on the right path.

B-I am currently a new grad BSN working on a medical floor at a large community hospital/level 2 trauma center. I earned my BSN from a 20 month accelerated second degree program with a 4.0 GPA. Previously, I worked as a vet tech and thoroughly enjoyed participating in surgeries, monitoring anesthesia of the animals, intubating, placing IVs, etc. This piqued my interest for pursing a CRNA career. In nursing school, I had the opportunity to spend a day in the OR and spoke with the CRNAs there, which further encouraged this career goal.

A-I plan (hope) to complete one year on my current floor, which is a medical floor with an oncology focus. I then hope to work in intermediate care/step down for maybe one year, then move to the ICU for 1-2 years before applying for a program. This would give me 3-4 years as a nurse first. I am just shy of one month off of orientation now and though I feel pretty self sufficient most of the time, I still feel like I will never know enough to work in the ICU... The thought of taking care of patients with that level of acuity is daunting. I have never even participated in a real code yet! I of course plan to obtain my ACLS, PALS, telemetry training, CCRN, take the GRE, and any other necessary/available education, but do you think this time frame is realistic? Or do I need more time as an RN? Also, is experience in an ICU at a level 2 trauma center worthy enough? Or is experience at a larger CVICU or SICU necessary?

R- Any other tips, advice, words of wisdom etc. would be appreciated. Thank you!

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998 Visitors; 8 Posts

From an outsider's perspective, your response to a genuine queston regarding CRNAs was unprofessional. I was reading your posting so I can gain some insight on CRNAs before pursuing it foolishly without any background knowledge.There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to do some research on a potential career path, especially if it is such a huge investment in time, money, resources, etc. I thought it was a smart idea to ask questions to someone who is experienced in the field you are interested in. Regardless, you did not address any of his questions.

From my experience, I started off as a CNA at a SNF who was attending an ADN program. Ultimately, I graduated the ADN program with honors and BSN program with Magna Cum Laude. So I understand where pgee313 is coming from and just because they are starting off new, does not mean they do not deserve their questions anawered.

From my experience, I would have wished someone gave me insight on the different nursing fields such as medsurg, telemetry, oncology, paych, etc. instead of fighting to get hired to work that field just to end up disliking it, or if you're lucky, loving it. It just saves time.

Now, I am too curious what is the lifestyle for CRNAS are (long work hours, only night shifts available), amount of independence allowed in practice, difficulty in CRNA school, and salary (to be able to pay off the high tuition it requires).

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