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Why some don't make it through CRNA School

I plan to be starting CRNA school in 2009 and was wanting to learn from others experiences. What are the major reasons why some people don't make it through CRNA School? Is it because of the volume of course work and difficult exams? Or is it because of errors made during the clinical portion. Were CRNA students not preparing appropriately for the cases the day or night before? What types of errors made durring the clinical portion kept students from graduation? I have heard that most people can handle the course load and that the higher failure rate occurs in the clinical phase. I would like to know (without naming or critizing schools for weeding people out or trying to fail students) what the errors were that people made during the clinical phase and any suggestions as to how they were preventatable (even if that includes reading extra specific study guides or material to prepare). I believe that attending CRNA school is a very valuable opportunity and I (as well as others on this site) would probably like to learn from past mistakes, inorder to increase the chance for success in CRNA school.

I can only speak to my particular school. But I imagine that every school, just as every individual that failed out, is different. In my school, the class started with 15 and four "failed out" or didn't make the 83% overall during a given semester. Two of these students are continuing on with the next class and I have every confidence that they will succeed.

These were acedemic reasons. Clinical competence was up to par with the students that made it to the clinical portion (one student did not make it to clinicals). In fact, three of the students I'm talking about were within a few tenths of a point from the cutoff. So it was a matter of a few questions one way or another on some tests that semester.

I have only heard anecdotally that some clinical mistakes will get you kicked out, like injecting too much phenyephrine because they didn't dilute it at all. I think others drop out due to pressure but this differs with the individual as well as how lucky they are in their preceptor assignments.

My advice in clinicals is to prepare as much as you can for the next day's cases (if you have the information ahead of time, which isn't always the case) and keep your nose clean. Be mature in handling stress (don't yell at anyone). Ask questions even if you think it's a dumb question. You might get ridiculed for asking but it's better than making a mistake with a patient. Be proactive in seeking out information on your own also.

You WILL work with difficult personalities and you WILL be frustrated and embarassed in some situations. Figure out how to deal with it in a constructive manner and you will be fine.

I can tell you that the pressure of CRNA school is orders of magnitude higher than anything you will have experienced before. I am currently in my 3rd semester, and have thought more than once about quitting. It's *extremely* tough going, often humiliating, often frustrating, and generally a big pain. Everyone says i gets better as you go through it, but I haven't experienced that yet...

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