This past week we celebrated the hard work and dedication of all the CRNA’s out there. CRNA’s are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), who provide anesthetic related care in various healthcare settings. Including, but not limited to, hospital surgical suites; pain management centers; plastic surgery offices; and so much more. Salary ranges vary based on market, location, and seniority, but for CRNAs just starting out in the healthcare industry, they can expect to make a minimum of six figures.
CRNA’s combine their compassion and skills from nursing along with their advanced training to provide airway management and quality anesthesia care.
We interviewed three CRNAs from Texas to get their perspective and insights on what it’s like to be a CRNA, why they chose their career path, and advice that they have for future CRNAs.
What do you find the most rewarding about your career as a CRNA?
What advice would you give an RN who is contemplating applying to a CRNA program?
Look for a program that best fits your learning style and look for a program that is in a location you would be pleased with. You are investing a lot of time and money, so you want to try your best to be happy.
What is one tip for a new grad starting their CRNA career?
What made you decide to pursue a career in Anesthesia?
I actually found out about anesthesia very late in the game. I was a new ICU nurse and knew nothing about CRNAs until two of my co-workers were leaving the unit for CRNA school. That’s when I started digging into the profession and right away, I knew it was for me. I always wanted to pursue an advanced degree and I loved critical care. Up until that point, I had my eyes on becoming an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Anesthesia won me over because it was the same critical care experience I was used to in the ICU with a different approach. It is a very hands-on field that requires intricate skills and one-to-one patient care. Not only that, but I gravitated to the amount of autonomy I would have as a nurse anesthetist. I love the versatility of being able to provide anesthesia in a variety of settings and practices and if I wanted to be an independent provider, I could do that as well.
What advice would you give to a SRNA who is struggling in their program?
Find a CRNA mentor that you vibe with and that you trust. Someone you can confide in about the issues you are having and who will encourage you along the way. CRNA programs are life-consuming and incredibly difficult, and having a support (person) that knows exactly what you are going through and can give you practical ways to overcome (issues) would be the most beneficial.
What is one tip for a new grad starting their CRNA Job?
Make friends with your preoperative colleagues! The pre-op nurses, OR nurses, and PACU nurses will help make your transition a thousand times smoother (if they like you) and will help you out the most with all the little things you are getting used to. Surgery is one team and the easier you mesh into your team, the better things will be for you.
An Le, CRNA 3 Years Experience
What do you find the most rewarding about being a CRNA?
Knowing that I am an emotional ballast for patients and their families during a stressful time. I believe the anesthesia provider has a great influence on setting the mood of the patient and the room. I like putting the patient and their families at ease by letting them know they will receive great care during the entire surgical process.
What is the most difficult part of your job?
If I have to choose one thing, it would be the unrealistic turnover time between cases. Facilities set these artificial time crunches where it can create unsafe practices in my opinion.”
What advice would you give to an SRNA struggling in their program?
Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. You may feel like you should be at a certain level of competence while in the program. And if you are not at that perceived level, it can become discouraging. For example, maybe all of your classmates have intubated multiple times and you are still struggling. I say just place your blinders on and look ahead. Focus on yourself, focus on the good. If it takes time to learn, so be it. You set the pace.
HOLLIBLU would like to say Happy CRNA Week 2021 and give a huge thank you to all of the amazing CRNA’s around the world for their dedication, skills, compassion and hard work. We appreciate each and every one of you!
P.S. If you are considering a CRNA program or want to connect with incredible nurse mentors, download HOLLIBLU, a free peer-support app for nurses and nursing students.