Are you interested in becoming a nurse anaesthetist? If so, this article is for you. Here, we will explain what a nurse anaesthetist is, what nurse anaesthetists do, where they work, and how to become one. We will tell you about nurse anaesthetist certification as well. Let’s start.
What Is a Nurse Anaesthetist?
Let’s start with the definition first. What exactly is a nurse anaesthetist? A nurse anaesthetist is a healthcare professional who administers anaesthesia to patients. Nurse anaesthetists don’t work alone. They work with other healthcare professionals, including anesthesiologists and surgeons.
Before administering anaesthesia, a nurse anaesthetist must perform patient evaluations. The evaluations are done to determine what type of anaesthesia to use, putting the patients’ prior health conditions into consideration.
Before they can work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices, nurse anaesthetists must complete the required training and nurse anaesthetist certification in the discipline.
What Do They Do?
Next question: What do these healthcare professionals do? Nurse anaesthetists are responsible for
⦁ Providing anaesthesia
⦁ Providing related care before, during, as well as after diagnostic, therapeutic, surgical, and obstetrical procedures
⦁ Providing pain management
⦁ Providing emergency services
Before the procedures start, these healthcare professionals work with patients to discuss their medical history, medications, type of anaesthesia (including its risk and benefits) to gain their consent.
These healthcare professionals are responsible for providing general anaesthesia, which relieves discomfort or pain during medical procedures like surgery.
- Nurse anesthetists also administer local and regional anesthesia to numb certain parts of the patient’s body, staying with them during medical procedures, monitor their vital signs, and makes adjustments to the anesthesia if necessary.
In certain circumstances, a certified anaesthesia nurse can act as support for the post-anaesthesia care team. These healthcare professionals provide their support by making a postoperative visit to the patient, assessing for any complications and if there are any, provide medications to alleviate them.
Where Do They Work?
A certified nursing anaesthetist can work in various healthcare settings—for instance, hospitals, clinics, and private practices.
The most common healthcare settings for nurse anaesthetists are hospital operating rooms, pain clinics, free-standing surgical centers, dentist offices, and delivery rooms.
How to Become a Nurse Anaesthetist
The following are the common steps to become a certified nurse anaesthetist.
- Become a Registered Nurse (RN) First, and you need to become a registered nurse.
For that, you must complete a registered education program that has been approved and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) RN exam.
- Apply to and Complete a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Program
After you have become a registered nurse, you need to apply to a CRNA program. The common entrance requirements for these programs include
- At least 3.0 GPA
- At least 300 GRE total score
- RN licensure
- Practice requirements
- Get a Nurse Anesthetist Certification by Applying for and Passing the National Certification Examination (NCE)
The third step is to apply for and pass the NCE from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).
Note: After their initial exam, certified registered nurse anaesthetists must take the Continued Professional Certification Exam every four years.
- Apply for CRNA Licensure
The last for CRNA licensure in your state of practice. The requirements for this licensure may vary between states, so you should check the requirements in your state.
Should You Become a Certified Nurse Anaesthetist?
That depends. If you are looking for a career with a good outlook, has high salary experiences, and is willing to spend considerable time and work for it, then becoming a certified nurse anaesthetist can be a good choice for you.
To put things in perspective, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS) projected that, by 2029, the number of nurse anaesthetics is expected to increase by 14%. Still, according to BLS, the mean annual salary of a nurse anaesthetist in 2020 is estimated to be $189,190, which is quite high.
And as we said earlier, nurse anaesthetists can work in various healthcare settings, not just hospital operating rooms. These healthcare professionals can work in simple settings as well as complex ones.
Becoming a nurse anaesthetist takes time and lots of work. After all, to become one, you will need a graduate education, work experience, and nurse anaesthetist certification. It is not easy, but the lucrative and rewarding career, as well as high-income experiences, make it worth the sacrifice.