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Certified Nurse Anesthetist - What they do and how to become a CRNA?

Training required to become a Certified Nurse Anesthetist

A Master of Science in Nursing degree as well as completing the required state licensing examinations is required in order to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist as it is an Advanced-practice nursing position. The nurse will have undergone special training in the use of anesthetics. A CRNA typically works directly for an Anesthesiologist and often works in delivery rooms, dental offices, or operating rooms.

Certified Nurse Anesthetists, as with all nurses, are required to continue to further their knowledge through re-certification courses and Continuing Education credits. With medicine, an ever changing field of growth and new techniques and science, nurses and all medical personnel need to grow and change with the field.

What do Certified Nurse Anesthetists do?

Depending on the state regulations and licensing details, CRNAs can work side by side with Anesthesiologists, in collaboration with Anesthesiologists or totally independent. Quite often in less populous areas and less-develop countries, Certified Nurse Anesthetists are an integral part of the medical community due to a shortage of Anesthesiologists.

Along with smaller communities, and developing countries, the military uses a great number of CRNAs. The military has employed many Nurse Anesthetists throughout history. Nurse Anesthetists are the main providers of anesthesia services to both retired and active duty soldiers. They can work in military health center, on naval ships and in combat areas.

As with Anesthesiologists, CRNAs are certified to provide all forms of anesthetic techniques including general, epidural, spinal, peripheral nerve block, sedation, or local.

CRNAs are often responsible for taking care of patients recovering from anesthesia whether in a doctor's office, dental office, surgical center or hospital setting. Somewhat surprisingly, many CRNAs are male. If fact some statistics show up to 41% versus 10% of the total nursing population.

An average salary for a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is around $150,000-$179,000 as of 2011 published statistics.

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