If You Have Been Accepted to CRNA School

  1. To those who have been accepted to CRNA school, and are awaiting class start dates (or perhaps are already in classes), I have a little advice.

    First, since you are reading this, I don't have to tell you to get and become familiar with a computer. But if you know of a classmate who has not yet entered the computer age, tell them now is the time to start. One of my classmates had never owned or used a computer before beginning class, and was put seriously behind when things started. He ended up having to buy and learn a computer in the first two months of the program, and was at a very serious disadvantage. He ended up failing out.

    Second, there are a couple of computer aids I would recommend. The first is The Electronic Anesthesiology Library (TEAL). You can learn more at the following site:


    This is a CD ROM that contains the full contents of five major anesthesia journals for the last five years. It is expensive, but if your program requires a "journal club" (and almost all of them do), it will cut down enormously on the amount of time you have to spend in the library. You will be able to access journal articles by title, author or subject matter at home, on your computer. What's more, you will be able to print out the journal articles at home.

    Next, consider buying a speech to text program. About half way through my first semester, I found my arms cramping from all the typing I was doing. So, I went out and bought Dragon Naturally Speaking Preferred. Again, it's an expensive program, but it helped me a lot. However, not all of my classmates were as fond of it as I was. Essentially, it turns your speech into a text on the computer. It takes a little getting used to, so if you decide to get it, I would do so before school starts, and practice with it. Before you buy it (or any speech to text program), check with the computer whiz at the store to ensure it will work well on your computer.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on May 15, '02
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    About kmchugh

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 2,000; Likes: 66


  3. by   meandragonbrett
    as always kevin, great post! Thanks for comming to the board man!

  4. by   BRobison
    I am chuckling as I read your post. I think I'm jealous of the up and coming SRNAs......
    I was an SRNA in the "olden" days; before the age of the computer and "the net." We used index cards and pens to do journal reviews, and I TYPED my thesis on "E-Z-Rase" paper, can you believe that???? The chuckling part comes because I did not ever think that at my age (40-ish) I would feel like such a dinosaur! But, alas..........!
  5. by   Kim S.
    Thanks for the advice. I am fairly comfortable on the computer. If you get really technical I may not know what you are talking about. I probably most concerned about learning Power Point and spread sheets as this seems to be a big issue. I hear Power Point is easy to learn. Any advice on how to learn about spread sheets?

  6. by   kmchugh

    Power point is very easy to learn. I learned it in about an hour. I still don't know how to do most spread sheets. Don't worry about that too much. I don't think I ever had to work up a spread sheet from scratch.


    I guess I'm glad I waited till I was older before becoming an RN and a CRNA. The computer greatly reduced the amount of time it took me to do certain things, particularly repetitive tasks. I had a format sheet for my care plans, so all I had to do was "fill in the blanks." Still spent a lot of time looking things up, but there was a lot of repetition I did not have to do that you did. And let's not even talk about the ability to use the internet to do research.

    Kevin McHugh
    Last edit by kmchugh on May 18, '02
  7. by   Qwiigley
    This thread is old, but I feel is very relavent, so hopefully by my responding to it, it will become active again. Thanks Kevin for the info. I had actually PM you recently and this will answer some of my questions. Thanks
  8. by   bubba
    Did you create the care plan format sheet yourself? if not where did you get it?
    Also I just wanted to thank you for all of the help you have given every one on this site. Thanks for taking the time to help!
  9. by   kmchugh
    Yep, created it myself in Microsoft Word. I had a template form stored on the computer, with all the headings necessary already on the form. I filled in the blanks, saved the document under a different name (that way, my original template stayed there under its title) and printed it out. I used my Dragon Naturally Speaking program for the paragraphs on pathophys, and other longer text portions, and just typed in the simple data (lab work, etc). I had to do 50 care plans in school. Near the end, it got to where I could knock out a care plan in about 45 minutes, blank form to completed care plan. That included more complex care plans, such as cardiac and intercranial care plans.

    I still have all that stuff on disc, and would be happy to share. I'll be on vacation for about a week, but if you want something, let me know and I'll email it to you.

    Kevin McHugh
  10. by   TexasCRNA
    Hey Kevin--I know youre on vaction but I want this to be waiting for you when you get back.I would love to get my hands on some of your care plans. I am always trying to update my cut/paste system.

    Still trying to get into the carotid room and try the reme anes tech. but it seems I have done everything but carotids lately.

    I had a very interesting call the other night where I got to intubate a guy with a GSW to the neck. Boy what a mess, I got the beep and went down to the ER and the pt. had just got to the room and I went to the head of the bed and had to literally push the ER resident out the way cause he was trying to intubate this guy with blood just gushing out of his mouth. In the meam time while I was making my way to the head, another ER resident was yelling to push SUX and I yelled dont push anything till I get to the bed and look at the pt to asses the airway( I forgot to tell you he came in breathing and awake) when I finally got to the head and picked up suction I looked at the pt and was going to suction his airway when I saw him faciculate oh well the sux is in and we have no airway!! The poop was hitting the fan. I calmly and quickly suction the pt and went to put the laryngoscope down his mouth and was actually in the damaged tissue from the bullet that had enterd the pts neck. I pulled out and readjusted ( oh yea I told the sorry sap that gave the sux to get his as- over here and put some cricoid pressure till I get him tubed--he didnt have a clue how to do it) the airway was deviated to the left away from the gsw traumatized tissue on the right side. I was barely able to see cords and was able to pass 7.5 on the first try. After I got the tube in the "sorry sap" yells its not in, its in the stomach! Well, I have you know there is no way in hell I would have passed that tube unless I was sure it was going thru the cords!! I could see the steam coming up thru the tube along with good even chest rise and by the then the sorry saps attending got there and listened and confirmed my tube along with my attending. What a night but it was not over, I still had to take the guy to surgery for an exploratory neck at 2am which lasted till 6am. Life in anesthesia school--Gowkout
  11. by   BRobison
    sounds like a great experience (you know what I mean) to have while you're in anesthesia school....good work!
  12. by   g8rlimey
    Man, hearing about that experience makes my pulse quicken!! I can't wait to be in your shoes.
    Does fasciculate mean becoming limp and unresponsive?
    Where, anatomically, was the entrance and exit on this poor fool's neck?
    At what point would you/they consider a crico.?
  13. by   TexasCRNA
    Sux is a paralytic and when you give it there is a visible muscular contraction just before paralysis begins. Once this happens the pt is paralyised and cant breath the beauty of this drug is that it wears off fast but bad thing is when you have a pt that could aspirate you need to give cricoid pressure. All pts that present to the ER for tube therapy are considered full stomach or risk for aspiration.

    The unique thing about the cricoid ring versus the trachea rings is that the criciod ring is a complete circle and when you push down on this, it occludes the esophagus but it doest occulde the airway thus keeping abd contents from regurg into the airway.

    The guy was shot by his girlfriend for breaking with her and she was the one who brought him to the ER in a wheel chair with big bloddy towel on his neck. The bullet entered his r neck and traveled up thru his mouth, shattered his jaw with teeth sticking and falling out, nicked some vessels. Oh yea, I forgot to mention they were not doing anything for neck spine injury when I arrived to which I had a good ol'ER nurse hold traction for me.

    G8 are you from Gator land??
  14. by   g8rlimey
    Yeah, I live and work in Gainesville. CVICU @ Univ. of Florida Teaching Hosp.
    When I said crico. I meant @ what point would you have considered sticking this guy with an emergent trach.
    Kinda scary no one was considering traction!!

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