Becoming a CRNA - From One Who Did It - page 6

Looking over this bulletin board, I noticed that there were few CRNA's posting, and a large number of people interested in becoming CRNA's posting. There seem to be a lot of questions. I had a lot... Read More

  1. by   valencia
    Kevin can you please tell me if a regular student can become a crna, and when i say regular i mean someone who has to work very hard to make A's and B's. Can a person such as myself succeed.
  2. by   nilepoc
    Valencia, yes you can do it.

    I am working harder than I ever have in my life.

    You just have to want it.

  3. by   sumstarr
    Thank you so much for your kind words, but you know how you start to talk yourself out of thing. Not mention all the other people who are trying to talk me out of it. So thanks a lot. I'll keep you posted and I wish you guys the best also.
  4. by   valencia
    Nilepoc thanks for your priceless encouraging words, but do you think that i can work weekends and still succeed."JUST WEEKENDS".
  5. by   nilepoc
    lets just say that all of my friends in the program have quit their jobs and don't even try to work. You may be luckier though, but I don't see how.

  6. by   TraumaNurse
    It's nice to hear everyone's point of view. I have had a difficult time with the decision to pursue CRNA school because I have a young family, mortgage, car payments etc... However, it is someting I have always wanted to do and I have decided to make the sacrifice...wish me luck, it will be very difficult to pay the mortgage and support the fam on student loans.
    Are banks as willing to give student aid to CRNA students as they are medical students?
    Craig, I'm glad to hear things are going well for you...Just keep your head down while shopping in the DC area, and walk in a zig zag pattern (he he... just kidding)
  7. by   Annie, new RN
    First, I need to highly commend Kevin for his efforts with keeping all of our questions answered during his hellish weeks. 75 hours a week? I work 72 q 2weeks in the SICU and find it difficult! Thanks Kevin, you have provided some of the best advice that I have received thus far.

    So here's my deal. I graduated in May, have been working in the SICU of a local level I hosp. and applied to take the GRE in Dec. I really hope to get accepted to CRNA school to start by next Aug. What else can I do? I have called the 3 schools in the area and they pretty much know my name since I've had so many ?'s. Now I was thinking that I should go shadow some CRNA's. I've been in the OR many times during nursing school clinicals (which is one of the main reasons why I love that environment), but never really knew what to ask or what I should be looking for. What exactly do you monitor? I know that every case is different, but hemodynamically, are you just watching BP and HR and titrating meds according to those? Do you take labs during surgery or does someone else? I'm just asking now so that when I shadow I have a little more idea as to what is going on.

    Secondly, do you monitor continuous cardiac outputs and indexes during surgery?

    Lastly, did they ask you any anesthesia based knowledge questions during your interview for CRNA school? I'm thinking I should start studying more pharm stuff, but anything else? Ventilator settings?

    Thanks! Hope you are having a better week at work.
  8. by   kmchugh

    Well, of course there are the "big three," heart rate (and rhythm), blood pressure, and pulse ox. Depending on the patient status and type of surgery, I may also monitor CVP and PA pressures, I may monitor BP with an art line instead of a cuff. We also have a BIS monitor that allows us (sort of) to measure depth of anesthesia. Generally, I only use that for carotid endartarectomies. There are other monitors as well, but some of them can get pretty esoteric, and I question their value.

    Generally, no, I don't monitor continuous cardiac output, though if a swan is in, I will shoot CO's and CI's. That often gives me a pretty good indication of what I might need to do to correct a problem. Today, for example, cardiac outputs seemed to indicate that the pump was having a problem. But, looking at CI, as well as CVP, we knew the problem was volume. Loaded up the patient, and stability soon followed.

    I do give a lot of my meds based on what I am told by vitals. I also base some meds just on what the patient looks like. Often, a sweatty patient is telling me that they are feeling pain, and need more narcotic. I also monitor the train of four stimulator to ensure that the patient remains paralyzed (if the surgery calls for it). Bottom line? I monitor whatever the patient, surgery, situation demand I monitor.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  9. by   Lacey
    This thread has really taken off with invaluable info, thanks to all, especially Kevin, I would like to mention that the GRE has changed format. They have dropped the previous analytical section in favor of an analytical writing section consisting of two essays. Now the format, (as of Oct 2002) consists of; Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative reasoning, and Analytical writing. Check the latest bulletin or go to
    I do have one question that I hope may benefit the board as a whole. Can anyone recommend a trade journal for student or working CRNAs?
    Thanks everyone!
  10. by   kmchugh
    Yes, the AANA Journal is a pretty good magazine. Check at the AANA website to subscribe. Can't help much more than that, since I get the magazine as a CRNA.

    Kevin McHugh
  11. by   Want2Bgasman
    Can you tell me more about Newman as this is my first choice. How many people apply and how many get in?
  12. by   kmchugh
    Originally posted by Want2Bgasman
    Can you tell me more about Newman as this is my first choice. How many people apply and how many get in?
    Just this year, Newman increased their class size from 10 to 12, so that's how many get in. The class that Newman started this year was their third class to be admitted. As I recall, they had something like 200 applications for those slots, and interviewed something like 40 or 50 applicants.

    Kevin McHugh, CRNA
  13. by   fence
    I spoke with Dr Chipas today on the phone regarding my application and he suggested I come to the school in the next couple weeks to set in on some classes. I know this is not and interview but I know I had better be on my toes. Any sugestions? Should I dress casual? Any help would be appreciated.

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