<![CDATA[Being a CRNA - Blog]]>Thu, 21 Jan 2016 08:42:57 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[A Glance Back in Time – A Brief History of CRNAs]]>Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:36:44 GMThttp://beingacrna.weebly.com/blog/a-glance-back-in-time-a-brief-history-of-crnasImagine living in a world where all surgical procedures were done while you were completely awake. This was the reality for humanity for thousands of years. That is until the 1840s when the development of quality – and effective – anesthetic drugs, such as ether, chloroform and nitrous oxide, were first demonstrated throughout the United States as providing pain relief, and ultimately unconsciousness, for surgical procedures. After Florence Nightingale's work as a nurse during the 1850s began to grow in popularity, the profession of nurses soon boomed.

It was during the Civil War nurses began acting as anesthesia professionals as they administered anesthesia products to soldiers on the battlefield. In fact, nurses were the very first medical professionals who administered anesthesia, and since then it was classified as the very first clinical nursing specialty. Since the “Mother of Anesthesia,” Alice Magaw at the Mayo Clinic, the professional of nurse anesthetics has grown into one of the most vibrant and versatile professions within the nursing industry.

The foundation of modern anesthesia techniques was cultivated by Alice Magaw and Dr. Charles Mayo. Throughout their years of practice, hundreds of physicians and nurses traveled to their hospital in order to observe their cutting-edge techniques. However, these were not the only medical professionals practicing the art of anesthesia. In 1908, acclaimed surgeon George Crile sought out the assistance of Agatha Hodgins, who then became one of the founders of modern anesthesia techniques. In fact, the Hodgins and Crile would travel to France in 1914 to the establish hospitals to be used by Allied Forced during WWI. However, while Hodgins was abroad, she began teaching anesthesia techniques to physicians, surgeons and nurses throughout Europe. While these educational seminars were informal, upon her return to the United States she established the first school dedicated to the art of anesthesia – the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia.

As World War I began to escalate, the need for proficient nurse anesthetists grew, which was satisfied by the establishment of various educational programs in universities and hospitals across the nation. Perhaps the biggest contributor to this educational growth is the Catholic church. Years ago, the majority of hospitals and health clinics were religious orders. Many catholic nuns were taught and began teaching the ways of anesthesia, which soon moved forward the establishment of the AANA, the leading organization for nurse anesthetists. Since then, the profession of nurse anesthetists has grown leaps and bounds to become one of the most dynamic – and financially rewarding – career paths for nurses across the nation. View this website for more information about how to become a CRNA.

<![CDATA[Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist – A General Overview]]>Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:39:29 GMThttp://beingacrna.weebly.com/blog/certified-registered-nurse-anesthetist-a-general-overviewWhile you may be familiar with the medical professional known as an anesthesiologist, did you know there is a select group of nurses capable of performing the same anesthesia services as MD anesthesiologists? These medical professionals are known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or CRNAs. These highly trained and skilled nurses are capable of performing the same tasks and are held to the same level of accountability as their doctor counterparts.

As a CRNA, you'll embark upon a career that's not only the highest paid within the realm of nursing, but also one of the most in-demand throughout all healthcare settings (see data here). Did you know that throughout the United States, CRNAs are the only anesthesia provider in over two-thirds of hospitals scattered across rural America. In fact, CRNAs administer roughly 30 million anesthetics per year. These unique and skilled nursing professionals are among the most important out of any hospital or clinical facility as they provide not only the necessary skills to administer anesthesia, but they also provide above-average nursing skills to all patients.

In order to become a CRNA you must first obtain an RN licensure and complete all required coursework/training for this position. While many aspiring CRNAs choose to work as an RN for several years, some choose to delve directly into a specialized program for this profession. Although your path to becoming a CRNA may differ from those around you, many experts in this field suggest working for several years as an RN to cultivate your nursing skills and truly understand whether or not delving into the realm of anesthesia is a perfect fit. If so, there are many schools throughout the country designed to provide you with accredited education so you may sit for the CRNA examination (www.crnaschoolstoday.com).

Once you've satisfied the education and experience requirements set forth by your state, you must pass the CRNA examination. While the state you live in may feature unique eligibility requirements, the general requirements to sit for this exam are relatively universal. To uncover the state-specific requirements, contact your State Board of Nursing for current eligibility requirements and application instructions.

So you've finally passed your CRNA exam and you're ready to go job hunting? As a general rule of thumb, you should be prepared to work in a hospital, health clinic or emergency room setting. While the facility you work in may vary, the salary for these professionals is well-above average. In fact, many CRNAs earn more than their doctor counterparts. The average salary for CRNAs ranges from $136,000 to over $175,000 per year.