Is is what you thought it would be???

  1. My question is to those who are SRNAs or CRNAs-looking back to what you thought school/the profession would be like, how does your current reality match your expectations/perceptions of what you thought it would be like? Is there something that really surprised you, good or bad? Is there some aspect that you thought you'd like but don't? Does your pre-experience perceived role match your current situation?

    I'm asking these questions because I am currently in a situation (not nursing related) that didn't match my expectations-or maybe my expectations changed, I'm not sure...nonetheless I know that I am disappointed in my situation and I feel that I am going against my grain.

    This leads to the reason that I am pursuing my "original" goal of becomming a CRNA. Through this process I am trying to expose any areas that might be a "shock" to me once I'm on the "other side"...As I have mentioned in other posts, I have researched and had my hand in the CRNA world through school/preceptorships -so I don't anticipate any incongruencies, but one can never be too sure- that is why I look to the insightful answers from all of you here.

    Once again,

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    About Jedav

    Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 90


  3. by   WntrMute2
    Well the first three semesters of anesthesia school were a lot harder than I predicted. The material wasn't over my head or anything, it was the sheer volume. Day after day of having reams of material handed to you followed by having your head handed to you when you didn't know it all immediatly. First semester consisted of Clinical 1 day, Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Basics of Anesthesia the rest of the week. Tests came every week. Second semester: Physiology II, Pharmacology II, Regional Anesthesia, more Basics of Anesthesia, and Clinical 2 days/week. So while I had fully expected to do nothing but anesthesia for 27 months, I wasn't prepared for the feeling of being so overwhelmed. I like to feel caught up and prepared for exams and the like, not scrambling to cram stuff in for regurgitation. Clinical also took hours of prep the nights before as "care-plans" were to be done on all cases including the patients co-existing diseases. All in all pretty exhausting and nerve racking along with the lack of sleep. Things are much better now that only 2 semesters to go (after clinical all week and finals on Friday).
  4. by   Passin' Gas
    School was definitely difficult. I had to study hours on end, my grades did not come without significant effort put forth. I went to a front loaded program. While there were days I thought I would never touch a human patient, going into the clinical setting with a strong knowledge base eased the anxiety.

    One of the greatest benefits of a front loaded program is not having to get up at 5 am, work all day, then get home at 5 pm and attempt to focus intently on difficult physiological concepts for the exam the next day. Another benefit is having the time to learn the material presented in the courses extremely well by focusing on just didactics. The bulk of the course work is done the first two semesters and summer had more clinically based classes. Once I hit clinical, doing care plans involved putting all that stuff I learned together for each specific patient.

    Neither program, front-loaded or integrated, is easy. And they both have their pros and cons.

    Was all that hard work worth it? Absolutely, YES! I enjoy my work, some days more than others, but overall I definitely enjoy what I do. I have never regretted the decision to become a CRNA.
  5. by   Jedav
    I was gone a couple of days but wanted to say thanks for the responses... your insight regarding school is greatly appreciated. I would imagine that it is difficult to convey in words how life consuming the experience is ( I'll tell ya after August) .

    Any other takers are still welcome....Kevin, Loisane,
    Yoga CRNA????


  6. by   yoga crna
    It has been too long since I have been a student to remember about expectations. I was young (21--you could do that then) and knew I wanted to do more than general nursing.

    As a CRNA my expectations have been exceeded, and I have never regreted having gone into the profession. However, I don't think I was prepared for the political bickering between nurse anesthetists and physician anesthesiologists. There never seems to be a period of time when there isn't some issue being fought. It is interesting that the issues are never patient care related, but generally have an economic motive. So be prepared to participate in those battles, survival of the profession depends on all of us being involved in whatever way you can.

    Anesthesia itself is a wonderful process and it always gives me pleasure to learn as much as I can about it, to administer the anesthesia and follow-up with the patients. The human body is amazing and it is awesome to see physiological response to medications as soon as they are given.

    Jamie, while your question is a good one, remember that anesthesia is a lot like a love relationship. The unexpected can make things more interesting, so don't try to anticipate every possible thing that might happen. It will drive you crazy.
  7. by   loisane
    Yoga has expressed it very well. Especially the analogy to a love relationship, very descriptive!

    I was also young, and much more naive than current young people. I thought anesthesia would be just like ICU, just a "step up" in intensity and responsibility. I was a little surprised by the magnitude of that "step".

    Yoga is so right about the politics of anesthesia practice. It is not a field where any of us can sit back and let "them" take care of the activism (you know "them"-the people who are involved in the state and national association, who run for office and take care of the rest of us who just want to work, and go home and not worry about any of that). There is no "them", only all of "us". But I think young people now are more savy on these issues, too.

    One thing that did surprise me is the wide variety of options and experiences open to CRNAs. I worked in only one medical center as a RN, and I guess I thought the way CRNAs worked there was the way it was everywhere. Definitely not true. So I always encourage SRNAs to look at the big picture, and not get into a rut thinking the way they have alway seen things is the only way that exists.

    loisane crna
  8. by   Jedav
    Yoga CRNA and Loisane,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond-Your perspective and the analogy of the love relationship brought it home.

    This might sound odd, but I really have come to value and look to your insight-without trying you ( as well as the other seasoned CRNAs here) have become somewhat of a "cyber-mentor" to me -and I am sure this is true for others on this site, too!
    We thank you!

    Last edit by Jedav on Apr 21, '03
  9. by   meandragonbrett
    I just want to say thanks to all the CRNAs that are here on the boards! You guys are awesome!