Becoming a CRNA - From One Who Did It - page 9

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   Jimz31
    Could you just make this is "sticky" thread? This thread has probably the best information on this site.
  2. by   usmc94201
    WOW. I would like to update my last thread. My wife does in home child care and one of her clients is a respatory therapist. She invited me to Children Mercy Hospital in KC MO. I was supposed to watch an open heart surgery on an infant, however it was cancelled. This is the first time I have been to a hospital since my Mother died and I have to say that it changed my whole perspective. I toured the facility and met some profusionists, a MDA, a CRNA many nurses and asked about 10K questions. I learned alot. While touring the facility I got to tour the PICU and seeng all the Infants and children that needed help was a hard hitting reality. I am not sure if I will be a CRNA or a NP or what I will do. I do know this though. I will be a nurse, and I will be a good nurse. I will cross the advanced practice bridges when I get to them.....

    Thank you.
  3. by   heimanb
    Thanks to everyone for all of the insightful comments and suggestions. This is truly an invaluable resource!
    I am a recent graduate with a Biology degree who has decided that his calling is in nursing, specifically in nursing anesthesia because of my interest in the sciences and my need for autonomy in the workforce. I do, however, have a major concern as I prepare to pursue this goal: I have a serious intestinal disorder for which there is not yet a solid cure (ulcerative colitis). Ninety-five percent of the time this condition doesn't obligately interfere with my day to day life; however, when it flares up, it may be necessary for me to make the occasional sudden trip to the bathroom (need I say more?). So here's my question: how stringent are the health requirements for practicing CRNA's? Would this condition be viewed as too great a handicap for the profession? Let me emphasize that this is not by any means a daily problem. But in practice, there would certainly be the occasion when I would be in the OR monitoring a patient and would need to hit the throne. This question is aimed at any experienced practitioners who know from experience how manageable such a disorder may be.
    Thanks so much for your time--
  4. by   g8rlimey
    I vote for a sticky!
  5. by   nilepoc
    If somenone would like to pare this thread down. to just the essentials, it could be made into a sticky. Most of the good stuff in here is in the FAQ, that is why we wrote it.

    What would be better, is for someone with the time, is to compare this to the FAQ, and make the differences into further contributions to the FAQ. Too many stickies is not a good thing.

    Also, this thread meanders a bit too much as it is.

  6. by   CRHSrn
    ok, i know this thread has long been dead, but the information on here is incredible, so i wanted to stir up this old discussion. any one who wants to be a crna should read this thread b/c just about every question imaginable is answered.
  7. by   JennInColumbus
    This thread answers so many questions I've had but had no one to ask. Thank you!

    Now a question or two of my own...

    1. How do I find a CRNA to shadow?

    2. I keep hearing about being going heavily into debt for CRNA school. Many of the schools that are near here are in the 12k range per year, which would easily be covered by Stafford loans. Is the higher debt load due to going to a more expensive school (Georgetown etc) or am I underestimating the cost of attending? My plan was to work in an ICU for 2-3 years then apply, saving like mad for living expenses the entire time, now I'm wondering if I'm deluding myself.

    3. Are the hours of CRNA's similar to floor nursing? By that I mean, there is a great deal of flexibility for floor nurses. Some work as much overtime as they can stand and there are others who are perfectly happy to work 2 or 3 ten hour shifts and be done for the week. I think of this flexibility as a huge benefit and I wonder if it carries over into advanced practice positions.

    Thanks to Kevin for starting this thread and also to Craig, I love your journal!

  8. by   dreamon
    CRHSrn- thanks for bringing this thread to the 'active threads' forefront--I have only gotten halfway and I have learned so much more than I knew. I am thrilled to have read it.
  9. by   meandragonbrett
    Originally posted by JennInColumbus

    3. Are the hours of CRNA's similar to floor nursing? By that I mean, there is a great deal of flexibility for floor nurses. Some work as much overtime as they can stand and there are others who are perfectly happy to work 2 or 3 ten hour shifts and be done for the week. I think of this flexibility as a huge benefit and I wonder if it carries over into advanced practice positions.

    There is a lot of flexibility in being a CRNA depending on your practice setting. Check out to look at CRNA positions that are near you. Generally, CRNAs that work for a combimed group work a set number of hours (7-3 X 5 or 7-5 X 4, etc.) and don't take call, work weekends, or holidays. There's tons of options out there. Some groups CRNAs take call and other groups don't require it, some groups it's M-F some groups is 24 on/24 off, etc.

    Good Luck

  10. by   kmchugh
    To Answer Jenn's Questions:

    1. Go to the OR at your hospital, and ask the nurse in charge of the desk for a name of a CRNA who would be open to being shadowed. Most of us would be glad to show you what we do, because most of us feel that it is important to our profession to encourage those who want to be CRNA's.

    2. The heavy debt incurred by most CRNA's in going to school does not just include the cost of tuition. Most CRNA programs are full time programs, with little or no time to work outside of school. Your plate is just too full. So, in addition to needing loans for books and tuition, you will need additional money for living expenses. Unless of course you are married, and can live on your spouses salary alone for the 2-3 years you are in school. However, your plan is a good one, and may easily reduce your overall debt load after a CRNA program.

    3. Hours: Man, there's a question. The hours you will work depend in large part on where you work, and the environment you work in. My first 17 months after I graduated, I worked for an anesthesia group that did a lot of very sick patients. There were 4-5 MDA's with 5 CRNA's in the group, with a very heavy caseload. As a result, I often worked as much as 70-80 hours a week. Frankly, I was exhausted, and it was beginning to be a strain on my marriage. Last April, I moved to an entirely new state, and began to practice at a rural hospital where there are no MDA's. We do general, ENT, Gyn and occasional uro and eye surgery, as well as OB anesthesia and procedural sedation. My average work week here is 30-35 hours a week, at a much higher salary than I earned previously. The trade off is that there are only 2 CRNA's here, so I am on day on day off call, with call every other weekend. As you can tell from the hours I work, I don't get called in more than about 40% of the time I am on call.

    There are a number of jobs posted that offer a 40 hour week, with no call. Go to any of the CRNA job boards, and you will find a lot of different options where work environment is concerned.

    Kevin McHugh
  11. by   Betty007
    I decided 1 year ago to change careers and become a CRNA. In the last year, I've completed all my prerequisites and started a non-accelerated BSN program. I did well in my prerequisites and have been doing fairly well in the BSN program, but I never imagined it to be as difficult as it has been. I keep hearing that CRNA school is very difficult and you have no time to do anything else. I'm finding it difficult to do much else in my BSN program. Is the BSN program supposed to be hard also?
    Last edit by Betty007 on Jan 24, '04
  12. by   MICU RN
    YOu will get use to it and then you will be ready for CRNA school, it just takes time to make the transformation. ANd by the way you are not the first nursing student ,who aleready had a master's degree, tell me that undergrad nursing was more challenging in regards to the pace, volume and clinical component than their grad. program. I am now taking grad. nursing courses towards my MSN in anesthesia and it is a faster pace. For example, my first advance health assessment test covered 11 chapters and there hundreds of normal and abnormal findings we were responsible for. However, I feel that my undergrad. nursing experience prepared me for this and I believe it will prepare you. SO keep on trying ways to become more efficient student, it will come. And by the way, I am going through the same thing myself, constantly trying become more efficient and productive, it all about being able to make adjustments as you trek down this journey. Good Luck!
  13. by   dianacs
    It is nice to see this thread back up again. So informative. Hope there will be more questions asked/answered. I'm sure to have a few myself.