Although becoming a good nurse anesthetist will take time and dedication, in most cases, this career is rewarding. Nurse anesthetists report the highest satisfaction of the advanced-level nurse. Apart from that, they get a good pay off at the end of the year as well. It is for this reason therefore why this career is among the highest paying careers in the world today. In case you are looking to join this rewarding field, you need to learn on the steps to follow. This is a highest paying occupations review and in this case, we shall be discussing the nurse anesthetist career.
What is Nurse Anesthetist?
A CRNA basically is a registered nurse who gives anesthesia to patients who lead up to the surgical, obstetrical as well as trauma care processes. Working for long hours in a setting like a hospital set up, and surgery centers, they oversee the delivery of general anesthesia. The administration methods vary, but the common ones include injections and oral anesthetics.
How to Become a Nurse Anesthetist (steps)
- Earn a BSN degree or a related degree – 4 years
The journey actually begins at the undergraduate level. Students are advised to pursue courses like physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology or health assessment. Although the BSN isn’t needed to become a registered nurse, students who complete it are better-placed Students will also be needed to complete the clinical rotations in the major health departments. It is also good that you get good grades for a BSN.
- Get an RN license – less than 1 year
Immediately you are done with the undergraduate program, a registered nurse must be licensed. The requirements vary by state. However, it generally involves passing approved training programs as well as the NCLEX-RN. The exams cover topics like health assessment, infection control among other areas. It is crucial to check with a local NCBSN Member Board before exam registration.
- GetRN experience in some acute care setting – 1 to 3 years
Before applying to the program of accredited nurse anesthesia, candidates should complete a minimum of one year working in clinical settings like the ICU or the emergency rooms. Amid that phase, some RNs prefer pursuing the CCRN. This is a specialization which might the chances of acquiring acceptance to the nurse anesthetist program. Eligibility for the CCRN will include possessing a valid RN license.
- Gain admitted to some approved nurse anesthesia program – not more than 1 year
Getting admitted to such programs will be highly competitive. For instance, at Kansas University this program has applicant’s requirements like; valid RN license, full-time experience in ICU for one year, Bachelor’s degree in a proper discipline just to name a few. Before applying for the program, it is good you check the admission requirements.
- Graduate from the program above – 2-3 years
Every nurse anesthetist should complete the accredited program that takes around 24-36 months. Although these students are required to graduate with at least a master’s degree, similar programs in the United States award the doctoral degree. Every nurse anesthesia program has courses like; anesthesia biology, pain management among others.
- Pass your National Certification Examination – less than 1 year
After completing the accredited program, a nurse anesthetist should pass the NCE if they are looking to be a CRNA. It is a computer exam which only takes 3 hours. Every student is required to answer around 100 to 170 questions. It is the responsive design for the exam which adjusts the material under test based on a test taker’s answers for previous questions.
Key Responsibilities of a Nurse Anesthetist
- Administering anesthesia amid surgical, therapeutic, obstetric and diagnostic procedures
- Carrying out epidural, spinal and nerve blocks
- Offering care before, during as well as after the anesthesia
- Discussing with patients the contraindications or some side effects which they might experience
- Examining the patients medical history for allergies or other illnesses for safe pain management
- Monitoring crucial signs amid medical procedures
What Are the Advantages of Being a Nurse Anesthetist?
According to statistics, the average pay for nurse anesthetists ranges between $158,900 and $187,199 annually. This earning potential for the nurse anesthetists is among the factors which attract experts to this field before even other factors.
- Helping Others
Most people think about nurse anesthetists like people who offer anesthesia only. However, people forget that the main factor in pain management. The nurse anesthetists take care of patients throughout the surgical procedure. They, therefore, understand the needs of patients and are actually very helpful during surgical procedures.
Nursing is among the fast-paced fields where getting the freedom of making decisions as per your education level becomes important. Becoming a nurse anesthetist will allow one to easily make decisions on their own for the safety of patients.
- Professional Respect
By simply saying that you are a nurse anesthetist, you get some form of professional respect. Every day you work with other experts who heavily rely on you to guide them and advice properly. Most registered nurses dream of advancing their education to get into roles like a nurse anesthetist.
- Too much responsibility
Nurse anesthetists must get themselves ready for difficult situations. Some patients will have you sued if you carry out your duties carelessly. For that reason, you should be insured if you always want to be safe. In case a situation a case arises, you will be covered by the insurance.
- Working for long hours
Surgical procedures might be long whereby the nurse anesthetist might be required to be with their patient throughout. In case you find yourself all alone in a health facility, prepare to attend several surgeries most of the days.
- This is a competitive field
Given that everyone is looking to become a nurse anesthetist, chances of you impressing the employer might be low. What it therefore means is that your chances of getting hired will be minimal. A nurse anesthetist career has challenging programs which makes it impossible to beat the competition.
The Bottom Line
Nurse anesthetists offer anesthetics to their patients with the help of surgeons, anesthesiologists, podiatrists among other qualified professionals. As advanced registered nurses, anesthetists are accorded a higher degree of autonomy as well as professional respect. It is our hope that this article has empowered you on everything you need to know about a nurse anesthetist. If you are therefore looking to become one, you know the steps to follow as well as some of the responsibilities you will have.