A nurse anesthetist undergoes training in anesthesiology to be able to administer anesthesia. In hospitals and surgery centers the nurse works under a certified anesthesiologist’s supervision. Just like any other career path, this one does have its pros and cons. It would be a good idea to weigh them when deciding whether it is the right career path for you.
The pay is attractive. Nurse anesthetists are highly paid and it is actually the earning potential that attracts many to the professional field. You can be sure to enjoy decent living when working with this job profile.
It offers you the ability to assist those in need. Contrary to what many people think, the nurses are not only there to administer anesthesia but also for pain management. They take care of patients before a surgery, during the surgery and after the surgical procedure. They therefore offer lots of help to the patients making them vital people in all types of surgeries. You will love the feeling of saving a life through a successful procedure you played a role in when you are a nurse anesthetist.
The job attracts professional respect. This is a title that demands professional respect, considering that you end up working with doctors, surgeons and other nurses who rely on each other or successful care delivery to patients. You will get more responsibility and autonomy when you are a nurse anesthetist and surgeons and doctors will rely on your advice and expertise too.
You get the freedom to control patient care. This is a fast paced field and decisions are made based on experience and education. In most cases you will manage to make decisions without involving anyone else to safeguard patient health and safety.
The position comes with great responsibility on your part. As a nurse anesthetist you must be ready to deal with difficult situations, some of which could have you sued by patients or their family members. It actually helps to be insured just to be on the safe side when situations arise.
You might end up working long hours. Surgical procedures can be quite long and as a nurse anesthetist you must be there throughout checking on your patient. Some can go longer than expected and after they are done you still have to take care of the patient through recovery. If you are a sole nurse anesthetist in a health facility, then you would have to be ready to attend to more than one surgery in a day sometimes.
It can get boring. This is because you do not play any active role during surgery procedures yet you need to be present to monitor patient response to the anesthesia. You might need to sit through boring long surgeries
The field is very competitive and you would have to impress your employer to get hired for the job. Nurse anesthetist programs are challenging to get into but many are struggling to earn the degree and you need to be well cut out to beat the competition.