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SRNA's: generally, how much...

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how much time do you really spend studying per day? im just curious because i know most schools do not allow you to work.

First, figure on a minimum of about two hours study time for every hour actually spent in class. Sometimes it will be less, sometimes more, but about two for one is a good place to begin planning your time management.

As to schools "letting" you work: Where I went (Newman University) they had no policy one way or the other. If you wanted to work, you could, but it was discouraged. It took us about two class days to figure out we didn't want to work. There is precious little free time, and none of us wanted to spend that free time in the hospital.

Anybody attending (or attended) a school that has a policy against working?

Kevin McHugh, CRNA

It's hard to know what to study let alone how much in the beginning. So I took the advice of others, I started out studying three hours every day and eight hours every weekend day. Pretty soon I could tweak it, more or less study time, depending on how busy I was. As a rule I always take fridays off. Some weekends I'll study a lot more, weekends are ususally a good time to get caught up on anything you're foggy on. You don't need to work, just get used to the idea early that you have no money and loans will get you through. It is so much easier not having any other committments.

I am a civillian student in the US Army program and there is absolutely no way that they would let us work. I spend about 4-8hours/day on the weekends if a test is approaching. If it is a light week I will usually take a day off to spend it with my husband. I try to study during the week at least 2-3 hours a night depending on the day's class schedule. I am never up too late studying the night before a test if I have managed my time and not waited until the last minute. Good Luck.

First, figure on a minimum of about two hours study time for every hour actually spent in class. Sometimes it will be less, sometimes more, but about two for one is a good place to begin planning your time management.

As to schools "letting" you work: Where I went (Newman University) they had no policy one way or the other. If you wanted to work, you could, but it was discouraged. It took us about two class days to figure out we didn't want to work. There is precious little free time, and none of us wanted to spend that free time in the hospital.

Anybody attending (or attended) a school that has a policy against working?

Kevin McHugh, CRNA

I think 2 hours study time for each hour in class is also a good place to start, but know that some classes won't need that much time and others will need much more. There is always something that you can be studying while in anesthesia school:) I try to do the majority of my studying during the week so that I can still have some "normal" time to do things on the weekends, but if there are tests on Monday or I didn't get enough done during the week you have to study on the weekends.

My school does not have a policy against working, but it is discouraged. However, I worked a pretty good bit during the first year, which was all didactics. Now that I am in clinicals I am not working at all.

What is considered "reasonable" in regards to the number of hours a srna should be demanded to put in during their clinical rotations. are 12-14 hours days normal. That is just the hours in the OR I am referring to. There is still another ungodly amount of hours to put in prepping for the next day, prepping for journal club, prepping for presentations as well as studying for tests. I knew that CRNA school was not going to be cake, but 20 hour days for the next 18 months seems a little excessive. Just curious what other program clinical expectations were like.

We're normally in the OR about 9 hours, including set up time. That's minimum. If you're doing kids or a complex case, count on extra set up time. That does not include pre or post op visits on the floors/units. Nor does it include the time spent on careplans once we get home. You will be sleep deprived. You'll come up with a unique schedule that works for you. I nap everyday after clinical, then get up and do careplans. Of course, I have no other responsibilities like a spouse or kids, so I can sleep at strange times. And BTW, there are a few 16 hour call shifts throughout the semester, but they'll let you sleep in a call room if there's nothing going on. (NOT likely!) The nice thing about those is there's no prep, you just go in and do the cases as they roll in.

Wow! 20 hour days? PB38 where do you go to school? I didn't know that you had to do presentations? How often do you do them? I'm terrible at public speaking. You're scaring me off!

Believe me, I am flipping out just a little bit myself. I went in to this program fully anticipating the work and the stress. I have no problem paying my dues. That is one reason I am asking the questions of what is reasonable. The class before me started their clinicals in August. I think the minimum to graduate is 650 cases. They are not slated to graduate until Dec 2005. If they continue at their present rate, they will have met their minimum case load by the end of Feb. 650 cases in 6 months!!!! A typical day kind of goes like this. You got to be at the hospital early, depending on the time the case starts and the complexity. If you have a 7 am start time, you best be there no later than 5 am to set the room up. 6 am you meet with the rest of your colleagues and listen to what ever lecture was put together. It rotates. Your turn comes up about one a week. Somewhere in there you have to meet and preop your patient. Your day at the hospital ends somewhere between 4 pm and 8 pm. Then, you go home, do all your care plans and prep for the next day and discuss your plan of action the evening before with your preceptor. You still have classroom hours, lecture and tests to worry about as well. In addition, there is journal club where you present some evidence based practice to your peers, classmates, Drs, and CRNA's. This is done about once a month at a dinner somewhere. Students are trying to function on about 4 hours sleep a day, (if they are lucky) I would like to know myself if this is norm for other crna programs out there. There is already legislation out there limiting the number of hours residents and interns can put in in one day, I think it should apply to crna students as well. Its unsafe. I would appreciate any feed back from other CRNAs regarding this intensity.

OMG! I'm still dying to know which school you attend. I would also like to know whether this is the norm. Thanks for the info!

My program is an integrated one; we started clinical the second week of class. We spend two days a week in clinical and three days a week in class for the first semester. Each semester gets progressively more clinical time and less class time. In the times when most universities are on break (ex: Christmas break, etc) we are in the OR five days a week. We get there by 6am every morning and don't leave until our cases are done. Sometimes that is 3pm (if you are LUCKY!), most times it's between 5 and 7pm.

For the first eight months, we are 1:1 with a CRNA preceptor. After this point, we switch to 2:1....one CRNA supervises two SRNAs. After three months of this, we begin to rotate out to various rotations....vascular, ortho, SDS, CT, peds. Our program is 28 months long, and students who are graduating this December have logged over 1000 cases in their totals. We take call five months into the program, and always have the day off afterwards.

As far as study time goes, I find that studying 2-3 hours each night and 3-4 hours each weekend day has been sufficient for me. Each person is different, though.....what comes easily to one person might not be so easy for another, and vice-versa. I have found that I have been able to work occasionally....I have worked four hours here and there on the weekends in my old unit. They are perpetually understaffed, so I am able to pick up pretty much whenever I want. Since I started (in august) I have worked about four hours every other weekend. I definitely don't rely on the PRN work as income though....its just for beer and pizza money:-)

My program doesn't have a policy against working, but they made it abundantly clear in the beginning that if they even thought that your clinical performance was suffering because you were working or otherwise not focused, it would be dealt with. They discourage working, but do recognize that some people will work anyway. As long as they academic and clinical performance doesn't suffer, they don't care.

After a few months in the program, you will know how much time you need to put into it. In all honesty, the amount of time I have spent studying has lessened over the last few months - I got into a style of studying that works for me and learned to make the most of the time that I do have to study.

Thank you all for your comments. If you don't mind, could you tell me what schools you all attend. I'm just curious, because I want to take a look at the schools (web-sites) that all of you have chosen. Thanks again for all you help!

What is considered "reasonable" in regards to the number of hours a srna should be demanded to put in during their clinical rotations. are 12-14 hours days normal. That is just the hours in the OR I am referring to. There is still another ungodly amount of hours to put in prepping for the next day, prepping for journal club, prepping for presentations as well as studying for tests. I knew that CRNA school was not going to be cake, but 20 hour days for the next 18 months seems a little excessive. Just curious what other program clinical expectations were like.
Your description sounds fairly familiar.

What is considered "reasonable" in regards to the number of hours a srna should be demanded to put in during their clinical rotations. are 12-14 hours days normal. That is just the hours in the OR I am referring to. There is still another ungodly amount of hours to put in prepping for the next day, prepping for journal club, prepping for presentations as well as studying for tests. I knew that CRNA school was not going to be cake, but 20 hour days for the next 18 months seems a little excessive. Just curious what other program clinical expectations were like.

I would say I spend 12-15 hours a day including driving time, set up time, OR time, care plan time, and prep for the next day time on the average day. I think it is much less stressful being in clinicals every day (class once a week) than class every day. I usually do nothing but clinical, clinical prep, and care plans during the week and have my weekends totally free (NOT what happened when I had class every day). I think 20 hours a day is quite excessive, and personally would not want an anesthetist who is chronically sleep deprived (as opposed to someone on call) putting me to sleep.

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