According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists provide over 34 million anesthetics each year to patients in the United States. CRNAs work in every state around the country and provide very important services in hospitals, medical centers, surgery centers, and many other medical facilities. The AANA reports that CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia in rural healthcare facilities. Without CRNAs, many citizens would be without convenient access to vital medical procedures.
If you are thinking about joining the field of CRNAs yourself and becoming a provider of safe and reliable anesthetics, you probably have some questions. This article will give you information about what a CRNA does as well as specific information about CRNAs in Virginia, including CRNA education options located in the state of Virginia.
Choosing to be a CRNA
Choosing to become a CRNA is a major life decision. The education and training that is necessary to become certified as a nurse anesthetist requires a commitment of time and money. Before you begin pursuing CRNA education it is important to know what a CRNA does. A career as a CRNA may not be right for everyone, but if you do your research beforehand, you will better be able to know if it is the right career for you.
One way to learn more about being a CRNA and what a CRNA does on a daily basis, is to job shadow a CRNA. If you already work as a registered nurse in a hospital or medical center, you may personally know a CRNA and can ask him or her directly about the job. You may also know what a job as a CRNA entails if you work closely with them. If you do not work with or around a CRNA, or you do not know any CRNA’s to job shadow, you can contact your state’s nurse anesthetist association and they may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help.
Another way to learn about being a CRNA is to do research and read articles like this one. The below section entitled “Being a CRNA “will give you some good information about what types of job duties you may be expected to perform as a CRNA.
Being a CRNA
The basic job duty of a CRNA is to provide safe and effective pain management to his or her patients through the administration of anesthetics. A CRNA manages pre-anesthetic preparation as well as pre-surgery patient evaluation. They also manage anesthesia induction and maintenance throughout the procedure. CRNAs are also often responsible for post-anesthesia care to ensure that their patients recover well from whatever procedure they had.
Being a CRNA requires a great deal of expertise. CRNAs must know exactly how to best deliver an anesthetic as well as what type and what dose of medication to use. CRNAs may also need to make these important decisions under high pressure conditions such as when dealing with an emergency situation. Successful CRNAs are usually responsible, dedicated, good critical thinkers and able to remain calm under pressure.
In addition to being able to safely and reliably provide anesthesia care, a CRNA should also be good at dealing with people. CRNAs can encounter patients who may be undergoing life-changing surgical procedures or who are working through the process of labor and delivery. These are stressful and emotional times for people and CRNAs are often called upon to provide emotional and psychological help and encouragement alongside physical care. A career as a CRNA can be very stressful but also very rewarding.
Becoming a CRNA in Virginia
If you have done your research and chosen to pursue a career as a CRNA, you will first need to attend a CRNA school. There are two schools in Virginia which offer CRNA training programs. The first is Old Dominion University School of Nursing located in Virginia Beach. The second is Virginia Commonwealth University located in Richmond. To become a CRNA, you must apply to and get accepted into a CRNA program. You must then complete and pass the program in order to qualify to take the National Certification Examination. Once you take and pass the National Certification Examination, you can then work as a CRNA. While the road to becoming a CRNA can be long and difficult, your hard work will pay off on the end if you are able to fulfill your goal of helping others by working as a CRNA.
CRNA Schools in Virginia
Old Dominion University School of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program
Virginia Beach Higher Education Center 1881 University Drive, Room 206
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
- Degree Offered: Doctor of Nursing Practice or Master of Science in Nursing
- Program Length: DNP 36 months, MSA 28 months
- Start Month/End Month: MSA August/December
- Number of Clinical Locations: 13
Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Nurse Anesthesia
P.O. Box 980226
Richmond, VA 23298-0226
- Degree Offered: Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (completion) or Master of Science in Nursing
- Program Length: DNP 12 months, MSA 28 months
- Start Month/End Month: August/December
- Number of Clinical Locations: 41