Also called: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Nurse Anesthetist, Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Staff CRNA), Staff Nurse Anesthetist
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In olden days, surgical patients had to bite the bullet to endure pain. Now, nurse anesthetists can prevent patients from feeling discomfort, and then wake them up when surgery is all over. Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to numb parts of the body or put patients in a sleep-like state during operations, diagnostic procedures, or therapeutic procedures. Nurse anesthetists know that everyone is different, so they talk with patients about their allergies and current medications… and evaluate other factors like height and weight… to determine the correct dosage for their patient. They choose and prepare appropriate anesthetics, and administer them by various methods, including IVs and inhaled gases. Throughout a procedure and during recovery, they carefully monitor their patient’s vital signs from their pupil dilation to their heart rate, and adjust anesthesia accordingly. They may work in dental or doctor’s office, keeping standard business hours. Those who work at hospitals often work some nights, weekends, and holidays. Depending on state regulations and the environment in which they work, nurse anesthetists may work independently or on a team under the direction of an anesthesiologist. To enter the field, they must have a master’s degree in nursing and a nurse anesthetist certification. Whatever the work setting, these professionals share the goal of making a patient’s trip to the doctor quick and painless.
What they do:Administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.
On the job, you would:
- Manage patients' airway or pulmonary status using techniques such as endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, pharmacological support, respiratory therapy, and extubation.
- Select, prepare, or use equipment, monitors, supplies, or drugs for the administration of anesthetics.
- Select, order, or administer anesthetics, adjuvant drugs, accessory drugs, fluids or blood products as necessary.
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
Ideas and Logic
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
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You might use software like this on the job:
Word processing software
See more details at O*NET OnLine about nurse anesthetists.