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Impact School Has on Family?? Grateful for Advice :)


Please help!! I have a family and two children (ages 7 and 5) and I can't shake this fear that in applying and *finally* allowing myself the chance to pursue a degree in anesthesia (something I have worked immensely hard for!), that I will be diving into something that might not be best for my family.

I knew I wanted to do anesthesia from a very young age. However, life happened and it is nine years into my career in the ICU that I have finally found myself ready.

Professionally, I would never regret this decision. My fear is that I will regret this decision as a mother and wife.

So to all the SRNA's and CRNA's that are married with kids, I am asking you for your perspective. How do you feel now that you are in school or have graduated? I'm so scared to give away any of my precious time with my family, but I am ridiculously and annoyingly excited about this career. I shadow all the time (I just shadowed two days ago:), and I have done so consitently for years. I leave each time I shadow with such certainty that I am in love with what they do! I feel like this is what I am meant to be.

I could always wait until the kids are older, but I feel like I am at a crossroads in my career, where its time for me to decide what I am going to do for the rest of my life. I find myself antsy as an ICU nurse. It isn't as stimulating as it used to be. I love CRRT patients and septic patients and unstable patients who require continual tinkering with drips... I feel like those environments are where I thrive. My husband is an RN as well and knows all about the demands of the program. He is prepared to support me and we are financially prepared. I would be incredibly grateful for anything you have to say. And I know a certain amount of guilt is normal. I just feel selfish choosing to do something this intense, and I am torn between two things that I love... my family and how me pursuing this dream will impact them.

Stats: I am 29 years old with 9 years ICU nursing including cardiac, surgical, level I trauma, and neuro. GPA 3.7 overall, with BSN GPA 4.0. THANK YOU :)

I would love to hear others' perspectives. I am actually starting school next year with 4 kids . I also plan to work part time while in school.. Call me crazy but I believe it is doable..

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to SRNA forum


Has 8 years experience.

Anesthesia school with kids is definitely possible but it is very hard. I am 10 months into a 28 month anesthesia program. I have 2 kids ages 4 and 6 and I am married to a very supportive husband who works full time. We both start our days very early. I go to clinicals at 5am and he goes to work at 5:30. I could not imagine how difficult it would be to take the kids to a sitter or daycare that early in the morning. My husband's mom comes to our house at 5:30 every morning and gets the kids ready for school and takes them to school too. Now it's summer vacation so she keeps them all day at her house. Both my husband's and my hours are very unpredictable. We never know when we'll be done until we are done. So his mother is always available to pick kids up from school, get them dinner if needed, sometimes bathe them at night if we have really long days. I do not think anesthesia school would be possible without someone like her in your life. If your husband plans on quitting his job while you go to school, then that would help significantly. But you need someone who can be there for your kids at unusual times and long hours.

My kids are doing better than I am emotionally. I am missing out on so many things in their life- field trips, class parties, t-ball games and it makes me sad. I do feel selfish and guilty at times but I try to ignore those feelings so I can stay focused and get through school.

We have such great family support that my kids hardly notice that I'm missing lol. That's good for them but it's really hard for me.

Also, my school is in my hometown so we did not have to relocate or change schools. Life for my kids has remained relatively stable and I think that's important too.

As hard as school is with kids, I believe it is worth it. Don't wait until they are older. It will be difficult no matter how old they are. If you have the family support system, then do it ASAP. You have had a strong influence in their life for 5 and 7 years, which is so important to help shape their personalities, values and beliefs. If your family transitions smoothly, then you won't regret anesthesia school. If your kids struggle, then you probably WILL regret it. So make sure you have a solid secure plan and recruit people that can help keep the kids' lives as close to normal as possible.

As far as working during anesthesia school? No way! Not if your program is anything like the one I am in. I would have a financial back-up plan if I were you.

Edited by 526_a420j

Let me share the experience from the far side of where you are now. My children were 11 and 14 when I finished anesthesia school a couple of decades ago. Yes I did miss some activities and yes it was stressful. However- their life was vastly improved, their mother was happy and fulfilled in her career, the family finances were improved-allowing enrichment activities, they had a terrific example of husband and wife working together to make the best life for their children, and they saw their parents valuing education. Do they remember the activities I missed- no. Don't beat yourself up over missing some things, go to school now as tomorrow is promised to no one and circumstances may arise in the future that make it impossible. You are more likely to regret not doing it when you had the chance!

Thanks for your positive words .. I am encouraged!