Shadowing a CRNA

Specialties CRNA


Hello all,

I have a question in going about shadowing a CRNA at a local Childrens Hospital (my father works there). I will be changing majors at my college to RN degree in the fall, where I then would like to transfer to complete my BS and then HOPEFULLY attend UT where I could complete my last 2 years to become a CRNA.

Now those are my plans thus far. Before I take such a big step, and invest time and money into planning for this, I realize {from many helpful ppl on this board ;) } that shadowing someone of my desired profession is the best way to go beforehand.

I'm new and a bit naive at this, so how would I go about it? Who do I contact/ask first? I doubt I could just walk into the hospital, go to the info desk and say "Give me a CRNA please". Will any of my teachers (which I have none in this major since I haven't changed yet) be involved?

I don't know anyone that has ever shadowed someone, so this board is my only resort so far. Thanks for the information, buh bye for now.


5 Posts

I commend you on your desire to changes majors and possibly persue an eduation in nursing. It's a long road from your current position, but it should be totally worth it! Anyway, when I shadowed a CRNA I contacted to anesthesia dept at the hospital I wanted to visit. I explained that I wanted to go to gas school, but I wanted to really see firsthand what it was all about. I was fortunate enough to be allowed to wander from room to room picking the brains of all of the CRNAs. At the days' end, I knew this is how I wanted to spend the rest of my life! Good luck!


21 Posts

Thanks for the info Charles_thor. I know it will be a long and hard-working road ahead of me granted I choose to become a CRNA, but I am ready and willing. I just hope they don't reject me and kick me out or something, hehe.

Where exactly did you go to talk to in the anesthesia department and who exactly did you talk to?


263 Posts

You may want to shadow a ICU nurse also since you will have to do that for at least a year or possibly longer. I went into nursing with the idea of becoming a crna, however, I made the mistake of getting a ADN first. It took me 3 1/2 years to get my BSN and I am finally in a positon to go, I have an interview next week. I can't say the journey thus far has been easy or that I have really liked bedside nursing, if I had to do it over again I would have gotten a biology degree and tried to get in med school. I really like science and medicine, but as I said the bedside nursing has many negatives, over worked, underpaid, lack of respect, plenty of aid work, (i.e., cleaning lots of crap). As I have also stated before, going from bedside nursing to a crna is a great move, but I wonder if people outside of nursing know what they are getting into. If I had college age child who was a good student and very motivated I would probably tell them to look into medicine first and crna as a back up only because I think they would find the road to becoming a physician more enjoyable, certainly not easier, but more rewarding because you will be treated more professional and bypass much of the crap work associated with bedside nursing. Obviously, I have not personally done the MD route, however, I have worked in teaching hospitals for the last 5 years as a RN and have become aware of the challenges they face. Med students and residents will often complain of the scut work they are forced to do but it is nothing compared to the work you will do as bedside RN. Also take into account 4yr BSN +min of 1yr probably more at the bedside, + 24-33 months crna program as opposed to 4yr undergrad degree, 4yr. medschool 3-5 residency. I just wish I would looked at more options before I jumped into nursing, so good luck whichever choice you make and yes I think being a crna is a very good job and almost all I have spoke with have said they enjoy it, I am just pointing out that the journey to get there is not a very easy one and until you get to crna school you will have to put up with plenty of stuff. :eek:


59 Posts


Once you get into your nursing courses, look into an independent study option. I did one (called a 495 course where I was) and shadowed an ICU nurse for an entire semester...One of the BEST things that I did...With the help of my preceptor, I was able to really develop some advanced assessment and critical thinking skills that I wasn't exposed to on the floor in my "regular clinicals."

I had also shadowed a CRNA for a semester in more of an observatory role-but nonetheless, beneficial (part of an honors credit for my patho course)...very good way to see if it is for you...My point, you could do either/or both the ICU/ CRNA shadowing and get great exposure!

Good Luck!



612 Posts

I think you should shadow in both an ICU RN and a CRNA. Walk into a hospital (preferably a busy teaching hospital), go to the ICU and ask to speak with the director or nurse manager. Tell her what you are interested in doing and see if you can get in to shadow a nurse. Then go to the Anesthesia department of the hospital and explain to them what your goals are, and they will hopefully be able to set you up to shadow a CRNA. Hopefully, in your time, you will get the whole story from the people you are shadowing..the good, the bad and the ugly. It will all seem very exciting (which it is!) but everything comes with it's downsides. Good luck.


21 Posts

Thanks for all the advice. It does seem exciting, and I'll be looking into it really soon. I hope they are cool about it.

But First I have to get my full coarse load THIS semester out of the way :rolleyes: .

Thanks again

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