The road to becoming a Nurse Anesthetist is a long and tedious path, but is one of the most rewarding and highly respected specialties in the field of nursing. Nurse Anesthetist are Advance practice nurses who specialize in anesthesia and anesthesia-related care to patients before, during, and after surgery or other specialized procedures which require the use of anesthesia. This particular specialty is an intensive one and requires the utmost attention to detail.
This specialty is one of the hottest and most in-demand skills in the nursing profession and it is also one of the highest paid jobs in nursing.
It all starts with attending and successfully graduating nursing school with a degree. If the student takes the shorter nursing school curriculum and graduates with just an associates degree (ADN), then at some point, they will have to go back to school and get their bachelors degree of science in nursing (BSN) to even be able to apply for and enroll in the graduate course required for becoming a Nurse Anesthetist. In addition to having and maintaining a registered nurse license, potential applicants must have at least one year of acute care nursing experience.
The Nurse Anesthetist course takes anywhere from 24 to 36 months long and includes both classroom and clinical experience. Some of the classroom curriculum focuses extensively on anatomy, biochemistry, chemistry, physiology, Pathophysiology, physics and pharmacology as related to anesthesia. The clinical component of this course focuses on providing hands on experience with a variety of anesthesia techniques and procedures for most all types of surgery and obstetrics.
A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist has several overall roles in their duties. Those roles are but not limited to the following; performing a physical assessment of the patient to receive anesthesia, administering anesthesia, maintaining anesthesia intraoperatively, overseeing the patient recovery from anesthesia, and follow up with the patient’s post operative route from the recovery room to the patients room. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists’ stay with their patient’s through the entire medical procedure, from beginning to end. They are constantly monitoring and adjusting the anesthetic to ensure maximum comfort and safety of the patient. They are also constantly monitoring the body and various monitors for any signs that something may be going wrong and the anesthesia levels may need to be adjusted.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist practice their trade in a variety of settings and locations. They can be found in both the public and private sectors as well as in the U.S. Military, along with combat medic teams. You’ll find them in hospitals such as the operating room, pain management clinics, ambulatory surgical centers, and in various physician’s offices. You’ll also find them at your local dentist when a dental procedure calls for anesthesia.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist either practice their trade alone with a group, or collaboratively. In some cases, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)have independent contract arrangements set up with hospitals and physicians.
Nurse Anesthetist’s candidates must have at least a Bachelors degree and earn their Masters degree in the graduate course that they must take and pass in order to work as an Anesthetist.
Nurse Anesthetist pay averages from $140,000.00 to over $190,000.00 annually, while the median income for Nurse Anesthetist was around $165,000.00 per year.
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