1. Mr. McHugh,
    Do you work in an outpatient setting on occasion? Starting every morning at 6:00 or 6:30 sounds great, but I have been told by many CRNA's that they work 18 and 24 hour shifts with a great deal of 'on-call' and midnights. I'm only in my junior year of my BSN program, but that is the only thing that scares me about becomming a CRNA; will you be able to raise a family and actually see them? I would greatly appreciate it if you could clear this up for me.
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    About Slechner

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 4


  3. by   HPlayBoyU
    I know a CRNA personally.......he starts @ 6AM then ends @ 3PM.......on his on call days......when he works, the day after he is off.......I'm a junior in a BSN program too.......My goal to become a CRNA too.......
  4. by   kmchugh
    "I know a CRNA personally...."? Is that a badge of honor, or are you being kind? Sorry, that just struck me as funny.

    The anesthesia group I work for does not work at any outpatient surgery centers, but the hospitals we work at do have outpatient surgery services. (Frankly, from what I have seen at outpatient surgery centers, I'd rather not work at one. The risk is too high.) The number of hours worked by most any CRNA is dependent on where that CRNA works. Some friends of mine work strictly 40 hours a week with no call and no overtime (unless they want it). Jobs like that aren't too hard to come by. I know other people who work 60-80 hours a week, generally by choice. I generally go to work about an hour before my first scheduled start time, usually about 6:30 AM. When do I go home? Depends on where I am on the call schedule. If I'm first or second call, I don't plan on going home until 6PM. If I get to go earlier than that, bonus points. Its not unusual for me to be at the hospital from 6:30 AM until 9PM when I'm on call, but that only happens on average once a week, and not every time I'm on call. It all depends on the surgery schedule, whether there are emergency cases or not, etc. The last two days have had a light surgery schedule, and I was third on the call schedule. Both days, I was home by 1 pm.

    It's easier to look at the overall average hours worked. Generally, I average about 50 hours a week. Most weekends, I'm off.

    The other thing I would tell you is that overtime is less of a burden when you consider the pay for overtime. Lets say the average CRNA makes $90,000 a year. How you do the math makes a small difference, but that works out to an hourly salary of about $43. Overtime, then, pays about $64.50 an hour. Makes overtime seem a lot less painful.

    Kevin McHugh
  5. by   ma kettle
    Are the hours you work hard on family and/or spouce? I realize this is a strange question. It seems it would be hard to plan anything, ie kids extra activities. Or is the schedual such that you can predict that every 7th day you know you are on call 24 hours?
    Your explainations are helpful. The questions clear up for notion of misinformation. Thanks
  6. by   kmchugh

    It's not a strange question at all. First, I'll tell you that I am married (to an RN), and we have a two year old daughter, as well as a 20 year old daughter and 21 year old son from my first marriage. And, yes, sometimes I miss some things because of my work schedule. But, generally, I know at least a month in advance what my schedule is going to be, so we can plan around it. I also have a great doc as my boss. When I tell him I have something coming up with the family, he'll usually work the schedule so I can get out on time for whatever it is. Still, since my wife works a 7a-7p job, there can be some shuffling that needs to happen to make sure the baby is cared for.

    Although I have a call position, our group does not do "in hospital" call. So, even when I'm first call, when the cases are done, I go home. Of course, I could get called back for an emergency case, but that goes with the territory.

    In all, I like to think I'm pretty family oriented, and being a CRNA has made for a much more satisfying family life. I make more money now than I ever could have hoped to make as a staff nurse, and have money to do things with my family that were only a pipe dream, before. I get five weeks paid vacation a year, which is more than enough time to do the things we want to do. Also, I'm much happier with what I do at work, making me a much happier person all the way around.

    Kevin McHugh
  7. by   HPlayBoyU
    Ok Kevin.....me saying i know a CRNA personally just indicated that I know one and what I said about the hours is not what I heard from someone.....but from a CRNA who I just so happen to know personally.......go to hell with the badge of honor
  8. by   kmchugh
    OK, HPlayBoyU:

    "If they can't take a joke, f...." Son, you better get the attitude under control. If, as you say, you want to apply to a school for CRNA, then you need a little self control and a whole lot better sense of humor. The rules of school are simple: Show up, shut up, and suck up. I don't mean suck up as in suck up to the CRNA. I mean suck up as in suck up your problems and drive on, "suck it up". If you get stressed over a someone poking a little fun, you won't last two semesters in school.

    Kevin McHugh, going to hell and taking his offer to help with him
    Last edit by kmchugh on Apr 12, '02
  9. by   HPlayBoyU
    That's clever Mr. Kevin McHugh.........I can take a joke but just didn't take your comment as a joke.....just didn't find that funny, sorry!.....no love lost........we're both professional.......FYI.....I have a great sense of humor.......and no where near sensitive........oh.....thanx for your private messege.......talk to you later......
  10. by   ma kettle
    Kevin ,
    thanks for your responses. The next step for me is getting acceptted. The competition has been tight with the few schools that I applied. ANd I have to admitt I am wondering if it more political, in a few cases. Thanks again.
  11. by   kmchugh

    After I read your last post, my first reaction was to want to tell you "of course, politics don't play a role in selecting students for CRNA school." Unfortunately, after about a millisecond of thought, I had to admit you could be right. For example, if an important physician, particularly a surgeon, practicing in the same area as the school has a favorite candidate, that person has a definite leg up on the competition. I've seen that at more than one program.

    Hang in there. One thought might be for you to contact the program directors at the schools where you have applied and ask;
    1. Why you were not accepted.
    2. What you can do to make yourself a stronger candidate.

    I know that the director at Newman University will happily answer these questions. If the candidates apply in following years, he looks at whether they have accomplished the things he recommended. If they have, they are given higher consideration when re-applying.

    Kevin McHugh

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