Nurse Anesthetist Job Description:
Administering Nurse Anesthesia is advanced practice nursing at its finest. Nurse anesthetists deliver over 27 million anesthetics annually in this country. They provide collaborative care with surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, podiatrists and with other healthcare professionals. CRNAs perform pre-operative evaluations, assessments and implement anesthetic plans.
They also select and administer anesthetic techniques, including general, regional, local, and conscious sedation; utilize non-invasive and invasive monitoring modalities; manage the patient's airway status and ventilation, including intubation and extubation; administer proper pain, fluid, and homeostatic management; administer pain relief therapy, including labor epidurals; respond to airway crises and basic/advanced cardiac life support.
Can you tell us about nurse anesthetist study programs?
Becoming a nurse anesthetist requires experience (at least one year) in critical care nursing; a bachelor of science degree either in nursing or an appropriate science; completion of an accredited nurse anesthesia program, and the successful completion of the certification examination.
Can you recall any humorous moments from your nurse anesthetist career?
I remember one patient who began telling the OR suite a joke as I began administering his anesthetic medications to go off to sleep. As he was progressing with the story, his delivery of the joke became increasingly impaired, but he was valiant - and just as he delivered the punchline, he became unconscious. Everyone in the room had been waiting with bated breath, wondering if he would get to the punch line before he was asleep, and he did not disappoint. We were all quite amused.
Any advice for those preparing to become a nurse anesthetist?
Nurse anesthesia is a very rewarding career, and if you are interested in pursuing it, try following a nurse anesthetist around for a day to see just what the job entails. You will find anesthesia school to be one of toughest endeavors you will ever undertake - yes, it is hard.
You must be willing to dedicate a huge chunk of your life to your education - the information and data you learn will be voluminous; the many hands-on skills require practice, experience, and tenacity. It is a career that demands diligence and watchfulness, clinical acumen and the ability to integrate the didactic with the clinical arena.
What is the future of nurse anesthetist employment?
The employment outlook for nurse anesthetists has never been better. There is presently a shortage of CRNAs in the marketplace. Nurse anesthetists provide affordable and high quality health care. Approximately eight CRNAs can be educated for the price of one anesthesiologist.
What factors affect the average nurse anesthetist salary?
Nurse anesthetist salaries can be affected regionally, but generally speaking, the main determining factor in salaries is need. A city or region that is saturated with CRNAs may not command the same salary as an area that has greater need.
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