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A Career As A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

1079 words - 4 pages

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), also called nurse anesthetists, is a registered nurse that has specialized in delivering anesthesia during surgery and other procedures, as well as monitoring vital signs and maintaining the patient’s airway. A CRNA can also further their specialty specifically for pediatric, bariatric, cardiac care, etc. patients. To become a CRNA, an extensive education, as well as experience, is required before even being considered to enter the anesthesia educational program. CRNAs have a variety of work settings to choose from, such as dentist offices, operating rooms, and endoscope procedure units. The salary range for a CRNA varies due to experience and subspecialty, but the profession is one of the top paid nursing practices. Education, work setting and conditions, salary, and job prospects all vary on location but certification and recertification remain the same nationally.
To become a CRNA, you must first receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing and attain the licensure of a registered nurse. You must also have at least one year of critical care experience, which is obtained in areas such as the emergency room or intensive care units. Once you have received licensure and critical care experience, you have to be accepted into an accredited anesthesia program with a typical duration of two years or longer. Once you successfully complete the program, you then take the national certification examination. To become specialized in specific patient populations, such as pediatrics or trauma, you would need to work at a specialty hospital. As of right now, there are no scholarly programs to become certified in subspecialties. There has been recent discussion focused on changing the criteria to be a CRNA: “…the AANA Board of Directors, in June 2007, recommended that the entry practice degree for nurse anesthetists be moved to the doctoral level by 2025” (Hawkins and Nezat 93). Also, to remain practicing as a CRNA, recertification is required every two years, which is $160, along with certain “continuing education” courses.
Nurse anesthetists have a scope of practice they have to stay within just like any other profession in the medical field. The CRNA has many responsibilities to the patient. Before surgery a “pre-anesthetic assessment and evaluation… including requesting consultations and diagnostic studies; selecting, obtaining, ordering, or administering pre-anesthetic medications and fluids; and obtaining informed consent for anesthesia” (Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice 5). They cultivate and initiate a plan determining whether the patient needs local, regional, or general anesthetics. In addition, they develop the plan around the patient history, keeping in mind other health related issues and/or medications that could be affected or affect anesthetics and/or the outcome of the procedure. To maintain the patient’s airway effectively, the CRNA will intubate the patient with an...

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