Certified registered anesthetists nurses (CRNAs) are registered nurses trained particularly for administration of drugs for inducing anesthesia. Normally CRNAs are found in nursing care facilities, physicians’ offices and hospitals. They belong to a group of registered nurses who specialize in particular areas of nursing (Matsusaki, & Sakai, 2011).
Pre-surgical duties: Prior to surgery, the CRNA undertakes a patient assessment. This is done for determination of the suitable dosage for anesthesia to avoid any causing harm to the patient. The CRNA administers the drugs for induction of anesthesia, temporal blockage of sensation to enable the surgery to be conducted to the patients without feeling pain.
Surgical duties: When doing surgery, the CRNA ensures there is proper sedation of the patient and that they are impervious to pain. If not the case, the recovery period of the patients can be extended. The CRNA as well checks the vital signs of the patient during surgery and in some situations adjust the anesthesia level as necessary.
Post surgical/other duties: Following surgery, the CRNA manages the post-procedural recovery of the patient, which comprise of basic needs like eating and walking. CRNA as well offers emotional support to patients and their families. This makes them be important to the general patients’ welfare and chief representatives of direct care of patient.
Collaboration: Considering the designation of their roles, CRNAs commonly work with anesthesiologists, physicians with training in peri-operative medicine and anesthesia, together with surgeons whose procedure call for anesthesia. These surgeons comprise of dentists, podiatrists, and even veterinarians as well as other specialties in medicine.
Education and certification
For some one to be CRNA, they ought to first have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an allied bachelor’s degree. Students who enroll in these programs undertake courses in nursing, chemistry, nutrition, microbiology, psychology, physiology, and anatomy. While in hospital or other clinical facilities clinical experience is also required (Wachtel & Dexter, 2012). Individuals graduating in this career ought to have National Council Licensure Examination in registered nursing; this enables them to get licensure as registered nurses. Some states may be having extra requirements for licensing. Those who aspire to be CRNAs should at least have one of experience in working as licensed registered nurse.
The next stem step is enrolling in a degree program for masters in nurse anesthesia, which has accreditation from the Council on Nurse Anesthesia Education Programs (COA). The aforementioned programs in general take 24-36 months for completion and comprise of courses in pathophysiology, pain management, physics, biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, and pharmacology (Elisha, & Rutledge, 2011). Generally, the programs comprise of clinical residency and research component. The residency helps students to get experience in dealing with patients and also learning ways of applying techniques of anesthesia. Those graduating from this program ought to pass the certification examination that the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (CCNA) administers. It is a requirement to continue with education for maintenance of certification in turns of two years.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are among highest paid and most advanced nurses. As per the American Association of Nurses, the average salary for CRNA is $160,000 per annum The MGMA compensation report for compensation for 2011 established that the CRNAs’ median income was $151,139. This profession is likeable as it has a good package of pay. CRNAs have the capability of earning more than the majority of physicians offering primary care, with the required training and education. The profession has excellent job outlook. CRNA employing is extremely cost effective for hospitals as anesthesiologists are paid twice or thrice as the CRNAs. As a result, the CRNAs demand will continue to go high.
Opportunities for employment for nurses are anticipated to increase at more than average rate with the increase in the need for advanced medical care for the aging population. CRNAs, can work in various places including operation rooms, hospital emergency rooms, dental offices, private offices of doctors and plastic surgeon offices (Elisha, 2008). There are many advertisements for registered nurses in various platforms. For instance, in indeed.com there are advertisements for various posts of CRNAs.
At the moment a chief certified registered nurse anesthetists is needed at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. The candidate should have graduated from an accredited anesthesia school. They should also be registered nurses and possess a national provider identifier (NPI). They should have shown preventive and precautionary measures in offering care to patients. They ought to have proven capability in exercising professional prerogatives with a judgment that is sound. They should understand regulatory requirements together with legal consequences of care of anesthesia. With the required qualifications, the successful candidate will earn approximately $157,000 to $162,000 per year. Exemplary performance while in this position will lead to consequent promotion in the ranks of anesthetists which will equally attract higher pay.
Clients warrant knowing that professionals in the healthcare professional are not only proficient at the start of their careers, but they are also exerting attempts in ensuring that they stay competent all through their careers (Watts, & Kremer, 2011). The elementary basis for any profession interaction with the public ought to be demonstrable competence. This year (2012) the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) established a program on continued professional certification (CPC). For someone to apply for recertification, they ought to have a current as well as legitimate registered nursing or license on advanced nursing practice issued by nursing boards in the holders’ states. Nurse anesthetists are now expected to undergo recertification after every four years. A progress audit for every certification holder will be accomplished after two years. Those who will not have completed approximately half of the needed components for recertification by the stated time will get a letter to remind them of the requirement for four years. The frequent certification and recertification will ensure that CRNAs are competent to undertake their duties (Callahan, & Susan, 2011). Healthcare professionals need to be validated and endowed with recent information and continued competency periodically. This will ensure promotion of patient safety by enhancement of quality of professionals.
In this career, I have found that I will advance my career and can attain the level I may want to attain within a specified period of time. The employment opportunities in this profession are extremely many considering the looming shortage of registered nurses in various states. This gives me the courage to pursue the career to higher heights. With the passion I have for offering quality care to patients I will fit perfectly in this profession as it gives me that opportunity. The remuneration in this profession is appealing and this gives me further morale to pursue the career. The continued certification are much welcome as they will enable CRNAs to increase their competence.
Callahan, M.F. & Susan, B. (2011) Knowledge of palliative and end-of-life-care by student Registered Nurse Anesthetists, AANA Journal 79(4), Ps15-24
Elisha, S. (2008) An educational curriculum used to improve the knowledge and the perceptions of certified registered nurse anesthetists clinical educators, AANA Journal 76(4) p.287-92
Elisha, S. & Rutledge, D.N. (2011) Clinical education experiences: Perceptions of students Registered Nurse Anesthetists, AANA Journal 79(4) pS35-S42
Matsusaki, T.; Sakai, T. (2011) The role of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in the United States, Journal of Anesthesia. 25(5), p734-740.
Wachtel, Ruth W.; Dexter, F. (2012). Training rotations at hospitals as a recruitment tool for certified registered nurse anesthetists AANA Journal. 80(4), p45-48.
Watts, D., Kremer, M.J., (2011) Complex regional pain syndrome: A review of diagnostic, pathophysiologic mechanisms, and treatment implications for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist AANA Journal. 79(6), p505-510.