Experienced CRNA...ask me anything

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71 Posts

Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in outpatient surgery centers for fixed schedules

Re:recruiters. Their paycheck depends on personnel placement. There are some good, honest recruiters out there, but know that YOU are the commodity they are selling, and THEY only get paid when you take a job. They may give you a number, but you have no idea what the job entails.

FL has some of the most miserable working conditions for CRNAs in the country. If you are considering a move there, please be very careful. Do as much networking as possible to determine what the job really entails - and do not commit to anything for any length of time.


71 Posts

Um. Watermelon. But this may be a trick question that I cannot find a reference to in Urban Dictionary.


71 Posts

I was 34.

No criticism taken. It is long enough for me. I had to work today with an anesthesiologist with an attitude and CRNA hatred who was demeaning and critical for no other reason than she is the physician and I am the nurse.

I am done...and I am totally, completely okay with my decision.


5 Posts

Specializes in ICU. Has 1 years experience.

Hi 06crna,

Thank you for taking the time to impart your wisdom and knowledge! I'll be graduating (God willingly) at the end of this year and can not wait! I'm in Miami, FL and there are quite a few hospitals that are pretty CRNA friendly, but again I've only practice in FL. In most hospitals Attendings stay for induction. I'm looking at jobs outside of FL, but is difficult since the Anesthesia Culture in the hospitals can change so much from hospital to hospital, let alone states!! Any tips/ red flags when asking about jobs out of state?

- Wishing you the best upon retirement ?


71 Posts

Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Re: out-of-state job searches. My advice to you is much the same as it is for any new graduate. Ask a LOT of questions. Don't let salary be the sole determination of where you work. Take an honest, hard assessment of your skill set, temperament, and tolerance for risk. VERY IMPORTANT: visit the facility. Talk to the staff CRNAs. Closely watch the interaction amongst CRNAs, physicians, nurses, and support staff. Be a "fly on the wall". Don't say much but watch everything! Spend enough time in the OR that you get a feel for the culture. If the practice type is very different from the one in which you were trained (ex. you were trained in an ACT model, but the practice you're interviewing with is a private physician-owned group with independent practice), I recommend staying in your current area for at least a year or two while you make the transition from student to clinician. Ask why there is a vacancy. Ask about the surgeons and types of cases. Ask how long the group has had the contract and if negotiations or renewals are pending. Ask about orientation of new graduates. Get everything regarding your compensation package and work hours in writing.

Red flags include high turnover of staff - both surgeons and anesthesia, pressure to sign a non-compete contract, contracts that bind you for a set period of work in exchange for a set salary or loan payback, expectation that you will function autonomously from day one, jobs that offer a fixed salary but vague work schedules, outdated equipment. Speaking from personal experience, don't join a group in which you are the youngest and least experienced CRNA, especially if it is a Southern state and you are a young female - you could be setting yourself up to be abused and treated like a student forever. If the hospital is in an area with high medicare/medicaid, I would also ask about the hospital's financial stability and the viability of the current group's contract. If the hospital is subsidizing the anesthesia group, I can almost guarantee you that they are shopping for another group who will provide the same services at a lower cost.

Never, EVER graduate and buy a new car, house, or accrue other big debts that are not easy to sell or shackle you to a location and/or a job you hate. Do not spend a great deal of your own money relocating for a job. Relocation expenses can be negotiated into a compensation package and are a tax write-off for the group.

It is a gamble. If you are walking into a group blindly, with no insider information, it could go well or it could be a terrible mistake. My best advice is to thoroughly research your decision and make absolutely sure that nothing you decide cannot be undone.

Good luck!


19 Posts

@06 crna. Lol.That's why you are depressed and you are just giving low salary quotes .Never lose hope man.Goodluck

Sour Lemon

5,016 Posts

Has 13 years experience.

I have no interest in becoming an CRNA, but I enjoyed reading this thread. Thanks for posting it.


1 Post

Hi, I have a question about schooling to become CRNA. upon graduation with a BSN I'm curious to know if you recommend any specific CRNA schools/programs. Im a freshman in college so I'm just trying to scope out schools for the future so I can work towards requirements they might have. Also being in undergraduate school right now I'm wondering if it's a smart idea to work towards a minor in something such as: Health Informatics and Information Management, Health Services Administration, or a biology/chem minor. Any help at all would be great! thank you in advance!


149 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 3 years experience.

Thanks for making this post!

One question comes to mind:

1) How does a perspective CRNA student meet CRNA's to shadow? Many schools require a reference or letter of recommendation from a CRNA.

I am an ICU travel nurse who seeks to build a relationship with a CRNA or two to the point of being able to comfortably ask for a letter of recommendation into CRNA school however, this is challenging when doing 13 week contracts.

Thanks again!

Can you please address anesthesia awareness?

That is, patients who are paralyzed but not really anesthetized, therefore they feel pain during the surgery but can't tell anyone.


31 Posts

Not sure if you happened to miss it but 06crna addressed anesthesia awareness on the previous page.

ThePrincessBride, MSN, RN, NP

1 Article; 2,592 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, NICU. Has 8 years experience.
06crna said:
I have never seen an AFE and don't know anyone who has except a close friend that is an OB attending physician at a large metro hospital. It is exceedingly rare.

When it does happen, it is typically catastrophic. Often presents as anaphylactic-like symptoms. Can progress rapidly to cardiopulmonary arrest. Everyone who works with pregnant patients needs to know about this - not just CRNAs and MDAs. Lots of excellent resources on medscape if you are interested.

I actually know of a couple cases in which it happened. Both moms died, one almost immediately. The other was in a vegetative state for months afterward and then died in LTC. She was 34 years old.

Makes me never want to get pregnant...ever.