CRNA vs. Politics

  1. CRNA vs. Politics

    Hello everyone, I have a question that perhaps will reveal some opinionated replies.

    I am only a phlebotomist, EMT and LPN, working on my ADN. However, I'm young and level headed. I Enjoy healthcare and genuinely appreciate the job descriptions of CRNA's and my goal so far is to have my CRNA in 8 ½ years. There's only 1 problem. I hate politics. This however does NOT mean I don't care. I care a lot, but I quickly get annoyed with the irrelevant, illogical debates that often go on within politics in general. I don't wish to join a profession and work hard at school the next 8 years of my life to inadvertently join a field that in my spare time I need to be throwing my political weight around to keep the profession quality. That is my major concern.

    For clarification, I AM NOT stereotyping CRNA's or CRNA's on this board. I DO care. I AM NOT as informed as I want to be about this topic (which is the reason of me writing this thread). I DO NOT take 1 persons point of view as fact.

    To my question...Are there CRNA's out there that don't feel the need to become a part time politician? I am not implying that these people don't care about their field, or let others do the work. Honestly though, can a person live a quiet life of patient care, enjoying your job as a CRNA, with out having to have a deep interest in politics?

    Yes, this question has been spurred on by some recent thread activity here. I realize that this is but a small portion of CRNA's in America, but I believe it is a quality sample group nonetheless. If people are worried by repercussions of a post, please private message me. Thank you all for your quality, professional thoughts on this subject.

    Jeremy

    More so, what is considered an active, pro-profession CRNA consist of?
    Last edit by MrRacer98 on Feb 24, '05 : Reason: Addition-
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    About MrRacer98

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 38; Likes: 4
    ICU Nurse
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Ortho, surgical, ER, ICU, Transportation

    42 Comments

  3. by   loisane
    Wow, your post stimulates some very mixed emotions from me!

    As a simple straight forward answer-no, nobody is going to force your active professional involvement as a CRNA. The sad truth is that many CRNAs feel exactly like you do, "just let me do my job and leave me in peace".

    But the stark reality is, that if it weren't for CRNAs who are willing to throw their life into their profession, and get involved, NONE OF US WOULD HAVE A PROFESSION TO PRACTICE. Powers that be have tried to assassinate nurse anesthesia many times. It is only because of the work of gifted, spirited, talented, tenacious people that the profession exits today. And because of them and their efforts, you have an option to join it. If it weren't for them, the door would be closed to you, before you even get a chance to cross that threshold.

    90% of the work will always be done by 10% of the people. The 10% are often vocal about this. You might stimulate such a response with your post. You might hear "Just who in the heck do you think you are, you want to sit back and collect your check, but let others do the dirty work to protect your practice rights".

    I don't say that to you, because I have gotten past that bitter, angry stage. I am now resolved that those of us willing to get involve will always carry the rest. It is a fact of life. But you make me examine things closer. What would I think if I were on your admission committee? Is it ethical for me not to support your application, if you are otherwise qualified? More importantly, is it ethical for me to support your application, knowing your feelings? I honestly donot know. I have never been confronted with such a decision. It is decidedly hypothetical, because I am sure no applicant would honestly express such an attitude during the application process.

    There are plenty of current CRNAs who feel like you do, and probably have had the same attitude since before admission. But on the other hand, there are some who realized the importance of professional involvement after they entered the work force. The experience of nurse anesthesia practice has a way of doing that to you. If you go down that road, it is my sincere hope that you will benefit from such a transformation.

    loisane crna
  4. by   sunnyjohn
    Quote from NurseNut
    CRNA vs. Politics

    Hello everyone, I have a question that perhaps will reveal some opinionated replies.

    I am only a phlebotomist, EMT and LPN, working on my ADN. However, I'm young and level headed.

    ONLY? Wow! It sounds you have done alot. I am not a CRNA. I am not a nurse (yet). Like you, I joined this forum for information.

    With every profession there is political postering. But like any profession, you can be as involved in the politics as you want to be. If you choose to become an active force for change in healthcare and patient advocacy within the context of CRNA practice, you can still involve yourself without participating in the nasty side of the debate. Level-headed folks are always welcomed in the debate.

    Politics is not all bad.

    Agape
  5. by   athomas91
    I am "just a student" - and i must admit that although in the past i belonged to professional organizations - i never really took an interest in them. I don't think that being involved always means "throwing your political weight around.." it doesn't neccesarily mean you need to be on fron stage or overtly active - being supportive of an organization is just as important... paying membership fees (so that those that are interested in really being active can)...attending conferences to not only advance yourself and your practice but to support YOUR practice.... all of these things are contributions just as well....i will say that not being involved at all is exactly what keeps the nursing profession itself from reaching full potential - it is why CRNA's are a head above - the majority of CRNA's are "go-getters"...and they don't settle. they give the very best and expect the very best.
    just my opinion.
  6. by   MrRacer98
    Quote from loisane
    Wow, your post stimulates some very mixed emotions from me!

    As a simple straight forward answer-no, nobody is going to force your active professional involvement as a CRNA. The sad truth is that many CRNAs feel exactly like you do, "just let me do my job and leave me in peace".

    But the stark reality is, that if it weren't for CRNAs who are willing to throw their life into their profession, and get involved, NONE OF US WOULD HAVE A PROFESSION TO PRACTICE. Powers that be have tried to assassinate nurse anesthesia many times. It is only because of the work of gifted, spirited, talented, tenacious people that the profession exits today. And because of them and their efforts, you have an option to join it. If it weren't for them, the door would be closed to you, before you even get a chance to cross that threshold.

    90% of the work will always be done by 10% of the people. The 10% are often vocal about this. You might stimulate such a response with your post. You might hear "Just who in the heck do you think you are, you want to sit back and collect your check, but let others do the dirty work to protect your practice rights".

    I don't say that to you, because I have gotten past that bitter, angry stage. I am now resolved that those of us willing to get involve will always carry the rest. It is a fact of life. But you make me examine things closer. What would I think if I were on your admission committee? Is it ethical for me not to support your application, if you are otherwise qualified? More importantly, is it ethical for me to support your application, knowing your feelings? I honestly donot know. I have never been confronted with such a decision. It is decidedly hypothetical, because I am sure no applicant would honestly express such an attitude during the application process.

    There are plenty of current CRNAs who feel like you do, and probably have had the same attitude since before admission. But on the other hand, there are some who realized the importance of professional involvement after they entered the work force. The experience of nurse anesthesia practice has a way of doing that to you. If you go down that road, it is my sincere hope that you will benefit from such a transformation.

    loisane crna

    First off-

    I want everyone to know that I don't. I'm not going to pretend I know what goes on inside the field of CRNA's. Many don't see the political side out in rural communities where I live. I DO NOT want to anger people with this post. I am only trying to better understand what I would be getting into, with this profession. loisane, I would be the 10% if I get into CRNA, I'm a determined individual and pull my own weight. I am not a half baked college student boasting "I'm gonna be a CRNA cuz the make big bucks man.." No, I enjoy responsibility, technicality, and sciences. I know I have the determination to challenge myself to become a CRNA. (losiane, I know you didn't mean any derogatory implications from your post, just clearing everyone else up.)

    Here's the bottom line. I don't want to get people mad at me, because I ask an honest question. The other problem is text. It's easy to infer a meaning of a sentence different that what the writer intended. I'm not mad. Not being a smart alec.
  7. by   MrRacer98
    Quote from athomas91
    I am "just a student" - and i must admit that although in the past i belonged to professional organizations - i never really took an interest in them. I don't think that being involved always means "throwing your political weight around.." it doesn't neccesarily mean you need to be on fron stage or overtly active - being supportive of an organization is just as important... paying membership fees (so that those that are interested in really being active can)...attending conferences to not only advance yourself and your practice but to support YOUR practice.... all of these things are contributions just as well....i will say that not being involved at all is exactly what keeps the nursing profession itself from reaching full potential - it is why CRNA's are a head above - the majority of CRNA's are "go-getters"...and they don't settle. they give the very best and expect the very best.
    just my opinion.
    Excellent post and I agree. I have the tendency to show extreme sides. I have no problem with any of the things you mentioned. I'm all about showing support, paying the dues, saying my piece, and being a part of the organization.
  8. by   snowboarderRN
    Hmmm, your sentiments in my opinion are like many practicing CRNA's. I myself am a SRNA and recently went to the capital in the state i live to assist with a legislative day at the capital. I was blown away by the lack of interest by practicing CRNA's. In a state that has so many practicing anesthetists, less than 5 showed up to support their field. I couldn't help but wonder if more than 5 anesthesiologists lobbied their representatives. Probably a lot more. I myself hate politics, i love anesthesia and want to do my job to my best ability and spend time with my family- but without a job non of that matters. It only takes a small amount of time or money to voice an opinion. Sure you can get the degree and go to work everyday and do nothing else, but realize that what loiusane said was true, there has been and will be many attemps to limit the ability of crna's to practice. The other 90% of complacent CRNA's will care only when they can't make their mortage due to severe limitations or a non existent job.
  9. by   preCRNA
    I am a youngin' and I haven't even started CRNA school yet but I will next fall. I personally am excited about the chances of being involved with the public and increasing the public approval of nurse anesthesia. I think that this is the best field in healthcare, bar none. That said, I would feel extremely guilty for not working to keep the profession alive while 10% of the practicing nurse anesthetists do 90% of the work. But, I also agree that if the ones that are against all of the "politics" of nurse anesthesia truly make themselves the best anesthesia providers they can be, they will still be advancing the profession.

    Just remember that if people refuse to get involved in this profession on a policial or social level then that can't complain when something they don't like happens in these aspects.

    preCRNA
  10. by   zrmorgan
    Quote from NurseNut
    CRNA vs. Politics

    ... my goal so far is to have my CRNA in 8 ½ years. There's only 1 problem. I hate politics... I quickly get annoyed with the irrelevant, illogical debates that often go on within politics in general. I don't wish to join a profession and work hard at school the next 8 years of my life to inadvertently join a field that in my spare time I need to be throwing my political weight around to keep the profession quality. That is my major concern.

    Honestly though, can a person live a quiet life of patient care, enjoying your job as a CRNA, with out having to have a deep interest in politics?

    Jeremy-

    Dont limit yourself this early on, especially since your goal is going to take 8 years.

    You may find the debates more "relevant", and "logical" once you discover your patient care may be governed by policies developed by the "politically active".

    It dosent mean you have to grab a podium and start preaching, or drive to your capital and start waving signs around. Just go to the state and national organization meetings and vote.

    Then go back to the OR's and set a good example of taking exceptional care of your patients.
  11. by   apaisRN
    I may get more deeply involved, but I know I will pay my AANA dues, go to their conferences and send letters when bad laws regarding CRNAs are passed. I'm actually looking forward to a field where being a professional and advancing the profession is a GOOD thing. Seems like in nursing, no one can agree and change is seen as dangerous. Your employers and colleagues don't give a hoot whether you go to conferences or practicing in a safe manner (except as it affects them). An RN license is all that's needed, and who cares if I don't feel comfortable handling Swans because in two years I've cared for maybe 8 and it seems to be a dying trend? Just get the numbers and stop worrying about that wedge thing.
  12. by   versatile_kat
    Quote from apaisRN
    I may get more deeply involved, but I know I will pay my AANA dues, go to their conferences and send letters when bad laws regarding CRNAs are passed. I'm actually looking forward to a field where being a professional and advancing the profession is a GOOD thing. Seems like in nursing, no one can agree and change is seen as dangerous. Your employers and colleagues don't give a hoot whether you go to conferences or practicing in a safe manner (except as it affects them). An RN license is all that's needed, and who cares if I don't feel comfortable handling Swans because in two years I've cared for maybe 8 and it seems to be a dying trend? Just get the numbers and stop worrying about that wedge thing.

    Hey apais ... just wondering if you're being facetious about the Swan. I can''t imagine it becoming a dying trend since it's such an excellent device. But maybe you've heard something I haven't since I started school ... fill me in
  13. by   apaisRN
    In my MICU, which is the most acute in the state, they are fading out. I know they are used more often for open hearts at my hospital. I don't know if they're used more for other types of surgical patients. Our unit also takes non-surgical cardiology and most of those are post-caths, but occasionally we get a really sick one who gets a swan. Medical patients hardly ever get one. When we were doing our competencies last year no one could do the swan one, because we'd go weeks without one on the floor. I also learned at a critical care conference last fall (anyone know Tom Ahrens? he's amazing) that there are newer devices such as an esophageal probe that give you the same info with more safety and less chance of adverse event.
  14. by   skipaway
    Quote from snowboarderRN
    I myself am a SRNA and recently went to the capital in the state i live to assist with a legislative day at the capital. I was blown away by the lack of interest by practicing CRNA's. In a state that has so many practicing anesthetists, less than 5 showed up to support their field. I couldn't help but wonder if more than 5 anesthesiologists lobbied their representatives. Probably a lot more. .

    I do not disagree with this particular post; however, it is very difficult to get time off to go to these legislative days. Most CRNAs are at the bedside giving anesthesia and can not attend. Usually departments allow only 1-2 off a day. As a student, it is much easier to go because I'm sure it's required. I am very happy that schools are sending their students. This make so much sense to me and I wish my school had thought to do this. Students like you get to see that there is nothing to be afraid of in contacting and having a relationship with your state representatives and senators. I hope you, as a CRNA, take the opportunity to request time off to attend again.

    skipaway

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