A typical day of CRNA life involves a large amount of teaching patients and making sure they are given the proper medications. Due to the nature of the job, a CRNA spends a lot of time paying attention to detail.
The majority of a CRNAs job involves giving patients medications that will put them to sleep before a surgery or that will keep them sedated while in the hospital. While a CRNA may have one main task, each day brings something different. Not every surgery is the same, and not every patient is the same. Complications could arise that need to be addressed immediately. This means that the CRNA needs to pay close attention to each patient’s vital signs and how the patient is breathing.
CRNA Life Compared to RN Life
Most days will begin like any other day as a RN. You will arrive at the hospital or the surgical center to check on the patients you will work with that day or those who are there from the previous day. After you have examined each patient to ensure that there are no effects from the medications that have been administered, you begin to meet with the new patients who will be having surgery. You will explain what will take place when the medications are given and how they will be administered. One of the responsibilities is deciding whether the patient will be given general anesthesia or given a local anesthetic that will only block pain for certain areas of the body.
A Different Kind of Patient Care
Before the patient goes back to the operating room, you will usually give a small amount of medication to help the patient feel relaxed. Once the patient is in the operating room, you will give apply the proper leads to the chest to monitor the heart as well as a blood pressure cuff on the arm to monitor the blood pressure. Anesthesia is then given to put the patient to sleep. Those who are going home on the same day are often operated on first.
So while CRNA life is similar to that of RN life, you can see there are clearly significant differences as CRNAs only work with patients in need of Anesthesia, and nurses work with patients of all kinds.