CRNA – Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Career
You should not be confused between an anesthetist and an anesthesiologist. When anesthesia is performed by a nurse anesthetist, it is called the practice of nursing; but if it is administered by an anesthesiologist, it is then called the practice of medicine. Nevertheless, whoever provides the act on a patient does not matter at all, regardless of his educational background, for their work are the same in essence. Below are more detail explanation or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) career looks like.
Administering anesthetics has been one of the responsibilities performed by nurses for over 150 years now. In fact they were the first to administer anesthesia care on patients and have continued to do so even up to the present. However, it was only in the 1950s when the term certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) was formally introduced as one of the several specialty areas of nursing. At present, a CRNA’s service is most in demand in rural areas and in communities where health care services hardly reach.
Only a registered and advanced practice nurse who has complied with the additional requirements in nurse anesthetist program is qualified to practice as nurse anesthetist and become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. The program, which yields a master degree (either earned on campus or an online MSN program), takes around two to three years to complete, combining classroom instruction and extensive clinical experiences. Once the program is completed, a CRNA then works in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified health care providers by performing anesthesia for medical and surgical procedures. She is usually found working in the same environments as the anesthesiologists in hospital operating rooms, labor and delivery sections, critical and intensive care units, outpatient centers, pain management clinics, military and government medical facilities, as well as in the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons. A CRNA is also expected to be in close coordination with patients and their respective families, ensuring them proper care and comfort.
Basically, a certified registered nurse anesthetist stays by the patient’s side from the beginning to the conclusion of an invasive procedure and prepares the latter during surgery, explaining to him the details of the procedure and making him aware of possible unfamiliar sensations he may experience in the process. A CRNA particularly puts her concentration on the following functions:
- Evaluate patient’s medical history so she may be able to predict anesthesia reactions.
- Monitor patient’s pulmonary condition by applying endotracheal intubation, extubation procedures, pharmacological support, mechanical ventilation, as well as respiratory therapy.
- Attend to emergency calls by providing airway management, giving emergency fluids or drugs, or applying basic or advanced cardiac life-support techniques.
- Formulate prescribed medicines and perform intravenous, local, spinal, or any other anesthetics procedure following specified techniques and procedures.
- Implement regional anesthetic procedure such as local, epidural, caudal, spinal, nerve blocks, and intravenous blocks.
- Choose, arrange for, or administering anesthetics, adjutant drugs, blood or fluids product, accessory drugs when required.
- Formulate care plans for anesthesia.
- Monitoring patient’s reactions, such as changes in the color of his skin, possible dilation in his pupils, his pulse and heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, ventilation, and urine discharges, using both invasive and non-invasive methods.
- Choose and prepare monitoring equipment, drugs, or supplies necessary for the implementation of anesthetics.
- Obtaining an informed consent from the patient regarding the anesthesia procedures.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) also ensures that the patient passes into smooth recovery from anesthesia after the surgery is done.
Nurses interested in the anesthesia programs may only comply with the below requirements:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing program or related baccalaureate degree.
- Your GPA should be at least 3.0 and above.
- You must have a valid RN license.
- Sufficient evidence to point that you have worked for at least a year in an acute care area, such as the cardiothoracic ICU, burn ICU, surgical ICU, and neurosurgical ICU. Work experience in the Neonatal ICU, Pediatric ICU or PACU may also be credited towards the nursing anesthesia program.
- Secure 3 letters of employment or reference from professionals with whom you have worked. It may be from a fellow registered nurse, doctor or another nurse anesthetist.
Below are some further information on becoming a CRNA:
There are a few medical places and universities as pointed above that offer anesthetist program which can help you achieve your goal as an Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.