All Things CRNA

  1. Hi everyone!!

    I am currently on my last year of nursing school and plan on (or at least dreaming of) becoming a CRNA. I dreamed of being an anesthesiologist when I was younger but grew up some and realized I did not want to go to med school. BUT I still love the art of anesthesia and find it so fascinating. I have shadowed my mother who is an anesthesiologist and loved every second.

    This topic is quite broad... on purpose. I'd love to hear from you CRNAs on all your thoughts like why you love your job, pros and cons, what schooling was like. ANYTHING that comes to your mind, share it!

    Thanks!
  2. Visit axcoleman profile page

    About axcoleman

    Joined: Jul '18; Posts: 6; Likes: 1
    from TX , US

    12 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    If you are still in nursing school, you haven't yet been exposed to actual nursing. It is possible that you might actually love bedside nursing, taking care of patients who are awake and able to communicate, who have questions to ask and who need reassurance. It is possible, if you keep an open mind, to really enjoy your time at the bedside. Since you have to have bedside experience before getting into anesthesia school anyway, why not approach it with an open mind and be willing to love it?
  4. by   axcoleman
    I actually have spent all summer as a patient care technician and have gotten to experience bedside nursing. I am thankful for this opportunity but don't believe it's where I want to be my whole career. I want to have more autonomy eventually and I am so incredibly intrigued by anesthesia and the opportunity to understand the human body on a deeper level.
  5. by   jj224
    What are your mother's opinions of CRNAs and CRNAs practicing independently?
  6. by   axcoleman
    She has worked with some amazing CRNAs and other not so good CRNAs. Which you'll run into with any profession. I have not really discussed with her her thoughts on them practicing independently but it is a great question to ask her!
  7. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from axcoleman
    I actually have spent all summer as a patient care technician and have gotten to experience bedside nursing. I am thankful for this opportunity but don't believe it's where I want to be my whole career. I want to have more autonomy eventually and I am so incredibly intrigued by anesthesia and the opportunity to understand the human body on a deeper level.
    No, as a tech working a summer job clear into July- you have not experienced bedside nursing.
    Last edit by meanmaryjean on Jul 21
  8. by   axcoleman
    I think it depends on the facility. For my experience, I am paired with a nurse. I assess all the patients, chart on my assessments, and help in med passes. I do their care plans as well. Although I will say, I have not gotten to experience bedside in a more acute setting. I don't think it's so wrong to want to maybe follow my dreams though. To have dreams and aspirations that may be different than bedside. I am completely aware that I may end up loving bedside nursing. I was just strictly curious on current CRNAs thoughts on their job.
  9. by   loveanesthesia
    Probably about 1/3 of CRNAs became RNs with CRNA as a goal. Nothing wrong with planning ahead. I was not one of those people. I have felt incredibly lucky to have 'stumbled ' into nurse anesthesia. It's been a great career for me. Always challenging but the challenges have changed. Now I don't think nearly as much about how to do a case (after 26 years) but more how I can allay a patient's/family's anxiety. It's fulfilling for me to see them relax after talking to them for a few minutes. As a mature women I feel valued by patients and surgeons for my experience. This is not true in all careers. Older women sometimes are marginalized, but not in anesthesia.

    As a CRNA with a family member who is an anesthesiologist you will be in an unique position in the CRNA community, not that you'll be alone. Some CRNAs will wonder if you are 'selling out' the profession. Sometimes you may feel uncomfortable with how Anesthesiologists are talked about. I've worked with great Anesthesiologists and some that were very poor, in 2 cases worse than any CRNA I've worked with.

    Sometimes it seems to me that Anesthesiologists think CRNAs have less stress but I think they are dead wrong on that. I've always worked independent (except for 1 year ). As an independent CRNA I'm 100% responsible for my patients and I know I'll be second guessed more because I'm not a physician. If something goes wrong and a physician did the case it's "these things happen ". If a CRNA does the case there's more scrutiny. Just motivates me to be 100% always. But if you think CRNA is easier, it's not. School isn't easier either, you're more likely to get terminated from a CRNA program for poor performance than a residency.

    Just a few thoughts,

    Good luck!
  10. by   axcoleman
    Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking you're time to write this. Very insightful and helpful for me!
  11. by   offlabel
    Quote from jj224
    What are your mother's opinions of CRNAs and CRNAs practicing independently?
    Your Mom will be your best resource here as an MDA. All of the politics and antagonism will be mitigated as a result of her wanting the best for you as your mother. Ask her for honest answers and advice to guide you on your way. She won't lie to you like others will...
  12. by   Future1Intub8er1995
    Quote from offlabel
    Your Mom will be your best resource here as an MDA. All of the politics and antagonism will be mitigated as a result of her wanting the best for you as your mother. Ask her for honest answers and advice to guide you on your way. She won't lie to you like others will...
    Not so fast! I think they might not be as kind-hearted as you say. They will defend themselves!

    Go see if you can cut it or like it as an ICU RN first then see if you have the aptitude to be a CRNA and take care of ill patients. Nursing school --> 1 year ICU --> CRNA blows the mind.

    PROTECT THIS HOUSE. god bless.
  13. by   jlaac1
    Hi loveanesthesia, I was wondering what kind of personality/qualities it takes to become a nurse anesthetist?
  14. by   loveanesthesia
    Quote from jlaac1
    Hi loveanesthesia, I was wondering what kind of personality/qualities it takes to become a nurse anesthetist?
    Good question... there are all kinds of personalities, that's for sure. In my opinion the most successful are confident and able to tell a surgeon something that the CRNA knows isn't what the surgeon wants to hear. But at the same time are flexible and are able to learn and change. For example for a lot of years it was NPO after midnight and then research found that clear liquids until 2 hours before OR was better. I saw CRNAs who were quite proud of themselves for sticking to their guns and not changing from the old NPO after MN. That lack of flexibility is not good and should not be confused with the confidence to 'stand your ground'.

    The best CRNAs are able to adapt to a variety of patients. From the person who abrasively questions everything you do because they are anxious, and the CRNA calmly takes the time to answer everything without becoming defensive. To the person who doesn't want to hear all the risks and just wants to be told that you'll take good care of them while holding their hand.

    A CRNA has to be able to give themselves a pat on the back for a job well done, because often no else in the OR understands. If you're doing a good job it looks like you're doing nothing. They don't understand how much skill it takes to make it look easy. That's the reason if I meet a CRNA I've never seen before there's an instant bond.

    A CRNA has to be resilient because there will be good and bad days. Sedating a 8 month pregnant woman for a colonoscopy when they find stage 4 colon cancer. Working with anesthesiologists who go online and post comments stating that CRNAs shouldn't have full practice in the VA because they are not competent. CRNAs can't let stuff get them down, at least not for too long.

    I love being a CRNA and am incredibly proud to be in the profession, but it's not something you can do part way.

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