A Day in the Life of a CRNA: Insights & Experiences

A Day in the Life of a CRNA: Insights & Experiences

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) serve an irreplaceable function on medical teams across the country. They play a crucial role in healthcare by ensuring patient safety and comfort before, during, and after surgical procedures. If you’ve ever wondered what a typical day looks like for these highly skilled professionals, you’ve come to the right place!

In this blog post, we’ll provide an insider’s perspective on a CRNA’s exciting and rewarding career by highlighting their daily responsibilities, how they overcome challenges, and their tremendous impact on patient care and the health field.

To begin, it’s essential to understand the role of a CRNA. CRNAs received specialized training that is critical in surgeries and healthcare. Anesthesia is a vital tool in modern medicine and CRNAs serve as experts in providing this medical service to patients. Additionally, CRNAs are regarded as medical experts who play a collaborative role within the medical team in both planning and executing medical procedures.

Each morning, CRNAs prepare for the day ahead by learning more about their patients. They review patient charts, medical histories, and other relevant data. With this information in mind, CRNAs collaborate with surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to develop personalized anesthesia plans to meet the specific needs of each patient. Developing a personalized course of action for each patient requires a patient assessment and anesthesia planning. CRNAs perform comprehensive patient evaluations to determine the best course of action for each patient. This includes identifying potential risks/complications and developing contingency plans. CRNAs also serve as educators and advocates for their patients by informing patients of what to expect throughout the process, addressing any concerns, and answering any lingering questions.

While comprehensive planning is critical to a CRNA’s work, executing that plan is equally as important and a CRNA must be alert and practice sound judgement at all times. In an operating room, the CRNA administers the anesthesia according to the predetermined plan and monitors the patient’s vitals in order to adjust levels as needed. The CRNA uses a variety of information to execute and modify the anesthesia plan as needed, including measures to assess patient safety and comfort. As a critical component of a successful surgery, CRNAs are constantly assessing the patient’s vitals and pain level/comfort. They collaborate with the other medical professionals during the procedure to assess progress and communicate the appropriate next steps. The CRNA is a key team member within the operating room and their education and experience are imperative for optimal patient outcomes.

Proper planning creates the best possibility for surgical procedures to go well. However medical procedures, like all aspects of healthcare, can encounter emergencies and unforeseen situations. When this happens, patients and medical team members look to the CRNA to practice decision-making that is well-informed, timely, and appropriate for the situation. In high-stress situations, CRNAs must remain calm and rely on their specialized expertise in order to meet the needs of the patient.

Following a procedure, the CRNA assists in transitioning patients to the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). Once in the PACU, CRNAs monitor patients throughout their recovery and collaborate with the medical team to assist in the post-operative transition. This includes addressing any concerns and keeping the patient informed on what to expect in the hours/days following the procedure.

CRNAs receive specialized education and learn from valuable experience. As part of an ever-changing profession, they also commit to ongoing reflection, continuous learning, and high-quality professional development that keeps them abreast of the latest advancements in anesthesia and best practices within the field. CRNAs have access to a variety of avenues to pursue continuing education including university-hosted events, hospital-hosted events, and professional member associations (example: the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology).

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists provided critical support for Anesthesiologists. The work of a CRNA is a dynamic blend of clinical expertise, compassionate patient care, and precise decision-making. By providing comprehensive anesthesia services, CRNAs play a pivotal role in the success of surgical procedures, as well as the overall well-being of patients. If you’re considering a career in nursing or anesthesia, exploring a day in the life of CRNA offers valuable insights into this highly respected and rewarding profession.

If you would like to learn more about Anesthesiologists, read our blog