Day Surgery

  1. As I've studied the career of nurse anesthesia, I have come to love it more and more. I love that as a younger person I can challenge myself in a high stress environment by being a critical care nurse and also taking challenging cases and hours as I will start out my CRNA career. But what about when a person gets a little older and wants to slow things down a bit and dedicate more time to enjoying life and family?

    This is my question, how easy is it to get to the point where you can start working in a day surgery type place or a private surgical center where hours are more ideal for family life? Please don't think that I'm a slacker for asking this. I love excitement and challenges as much as the next critical care nurse.
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    About preCRNA

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 58
    Staff RN - MICU University of Utah Hospital


  3. by   loisane

    You are speaking to me where I live!

    I spent a (quite a)few years in ICU before going into anesthesia. Then several years in the big-tertiary-center-teaching-hospital environment, doing all the big cases. Great experience, wouldn't trade it for a thing.

    But I am very happy with my current situation. Outpatient surgery, M-F, no nights, no weekends, no call. Occasional long days into the evening, but balanced well with days ending at noon. The pay and benefits are less than I could get elsewhere, but I am more than glad for the trade off.

    Right now there is such a shortage, that anyone can just about get any job, anywhere. I can remember times before the shortage, when it wasn't that way. And your instincts are correct, the outpatient jobs are harder to find in that type of environment. This shortage will turn around eventually, they always do. I have heard predictions of it beginning to reverse anywhere from 2006-2010. But, as you can imagine, these predictions are subject to revision at any time, and can be altered by future forces that we can't even predict at present.

    Out patient has its own types of stressors. I think it is every bit as challenging as any other practice, just in different ways. I think it is important to get a good solid foundation in the large/hospital OR first. The stuff can still occasionally hit the fan in out-patient. It doesn't happen often, and many of the non-anesthesia staff will not be as prepared to respond as they are in the bigger centers. That puts even more responsibility on the CRNA to process quickly, and do the right thing. And since most people are coming for what they perceive as minor procedures, people can be very critical of any adverse outcomes (even more than in other settings). But if you have a wealth of experience under your belt, you never forget how to respond to unusual events.

    Lots of different types of practice environments in anesthesia. You'll find one to suit you, at every stage of your career.

    loisane crna