Imagine having a career that truly has a positive impact on others even from the beginning of your duties. A specialized nurse called a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist or C.R.N.A. knows this feeling well. This type of nurse is able to administer anesthesia to patients having surgical, dental or medical procedures to prevent the patient from having any pain during the procedure. To become a nurse anesthetist a registered nurse must complete more extensive training and testing. Patients typically are happy to see anesthetist knowing they will keep them from experiencing any pain www.uta.edu/nursing/BaylorAweb/anesth.htm).
The nurse anesthetist has many responsibilities while on duty. One of the most important aspects of the anesthetist is balancing the depth of sedation. If a patient receives too much anesthesia medicine they can have trouble breathing and may need to be put on a ventilator. If the patient does not receive enough medicine they may end up feeling the pain of their surgery. Another important role of the nurse anesthetist is to teach the patient and their family things they need to know regarding their condition.
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During a procedure the nurse anesthetist must closely watch the patient for any signs or symptoms of impending danger and respond quickly to keep the patient stable. The nurse must always monitor and record the condition of the patient as well as the vital signs before, during and after the surgery. At the end of the surgery the anesthetist needs to monitor the patient until the effects of the anesthesia wear off. Sometimes the anesthetist will give the patient a medication that will reverse the effects of the anesthesia (www.uta.edu). The nurse anesthetist can have a great impact on how the patient feels about the care they receive.
The obvious impact that a nurse anesthetist has on a patient is freedom from the fear of pain. This is a great relief for the patient which will in turn encourage the patient to cooperate in their care. Having a nurse anesthetist is cost effective when compared to an anesthesiologist which is a medical doctor who also has had training in anesthesia. To apply the concept of Neuman’s System Model a nurse anesthetist needs to be able to communicate clearly with the patient. If the patient understands details of his or her treatment they are more likely to cooperate.
This model explains that mental health is not stuck in one spot but is on a pole which can move toward or away from wellness. To keep stress as low as possible, three levels of prevention are used. Primary prevention is used before symptoms happen. Secondary prevention is when symptoms are present. This helps build a defense by bringing the surface resources that usually were not required.
Tertiary prevention looks at the return of the patient’s wellness. This is done by building on the client’s strengths. All three levels are meant to cause reduced stress and increase wellness (www.geocities.com). Nurses happened to be the first group of professionals to administer anesthesia in the United States. The AANA is an association that represents nurse anesthetists across the world. The association was formed in 1931 and currently represents about 28,000 CRNA’s (www.aana.com). Many nurses are attracted to this profession for many reasons.
One large difference from a registered nurse and a nurse anesthetist is the pay. On average a nurse anesthetist can usually earn double the income of the registered nurse. More money is needed however for education because there is at least two more years of schooling to take to become a nurse anesthetist but the payoff will be well worth it. Many nurses are intrigued by the never ending learning. Anesthesia is still somewhat a mystery to scientists and there are new discoveries being made every day. Many people in the medical profession enjoy lifelong learning and this happens to be one of the professions that can provide never ending questions. Many nurses still get great satisfaction from having a good relationship with their patients. It can feel very rewarding to ease a patients worries regarding surgery.
A confident nurse anesthetist can reassure a worried patient that she will be watched and taken care of closely. The amount of responsibility also is one of the reasons that being a nurse anesthetist is such a fulfilling career. There are many other people in the room during surgery but the anesthetist has the responsibility to monitor the patient’s consciousness and to adjust as needed. The patient may be on a ventilator temporarily so the airway needs close attention. Due to the fact that anesthesia can have an effect on vital signs the nurse anesthetist much watch for changes closely.
All in all the responsibilities of this career are many and demanding but having the chance to make such a direct impact on someone’s life is a privilege. The gratitude you may receive will become the icing on the cake.
- (www.aana.com), Qualifications and Capabilities of the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, retrieved 05/20/2007.
- (www.geocities.com), Neuman’s System Model, retrieved 05/20/2007.
- (www.uta.edu/nursing/BaylorAweb/anesth.htm), Nurse Anesthetist, retrieved 05/20/2007.
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