Why should an RN consider becoming a CRNA?
In anesthesia, you have the best intersection of clinical care, science, technology, and pharmaceuticals. We develop a plan of care, review care plans with the medical doctors and collaborate with them on other tasks.
In many clinical settings CRNAs are autonomous and provide an essential anesthesia service in rural and underserved areas. The field has become safer since the 1970’s when we monitored with pulse oximeters. We now have end tidal CO2 monitors, more sophisticated anesthetic gasses and medications, improved endotracheal tubes, and more.
Are CRNAs physician extenders or do they have a nursing scope of practice?
I still have a nursing scope of practice and a good CRNA will retain their nurse identity. We maintain our nursing identity within our patient interactions. My experience as a nurse has trained me to quickly establish a connection with the patient. Surgery is nearly always a stressful time for patients and the calmer patients are going into surgery, the calmer they will be coming out of anesthesia later. Isn’t this the best example of nursing care? MDs and CRNAs deliver anesthesia and work collaboratively, however, their individual expertise can provide a different approach to patient care.
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