Nurse anesthetists are healthcare professionals who assist surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians, and dentists in a surgical setting while administering anesthesia and other necessary medications. They also provide patient care and pain management. Working as a nurse anesthetist is a goal for many individuals looking for a healthcare career that pays well and offers excellent benefits and career potential. Here are 5 reasons a person might consider becoming a nurse anesthetist.
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1. Less Education than Anesthesiologists
Nurse anesthetists can do almost everything anesthesiologists can do. They both review a patient’s medical history prior to a procedure to decide what type of anesthesia is needed. They both administer the anesthesia, observe the patient, monitor the patient’s vital signs and monitor the patient’s recovery. One difference is the education required. A nurse anesthetist must have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a nursing license. He or she must also complete a master’s degree in nursing and pass the certification exam, which takes about 2 to 3 years. Anesthesiologists, on the other hand, have to be medical doctors, which takes at least 8 years.
2. Excellent Pay
Nurse anesthetists have the potential to make an excellent wage, whether they’re working part-time or full-time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse anesthetics earned an average annual wage of $169,450 as of May 2018. Wages, which can be affected by many factors, ranged from $110,520 to $194,990. The average hourly wage was $81.47. Things that can affect wage potential include education, experience, employer, location, and certifications obtained. The five top-paying states for nurse anesthetists are Montana, Wyoming, California, Oregon, and Iowa.
3. Very Good Job Growth
Nurse anesthetists are very much in demand. As the demand for improved healthcare continues to increase, so does the need for nurse anesthetists. The fact that they can do a lot of the same work as physicians do also makes them very valuable in the medical profession. Nurse anesthetists are predicted to see an employment growth of 16% between 2016 and 2026. This projected growth should result in the addition of 6,800 new jobs by 2026. The states with the highest number of nurse anesthetists employed are Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
4. Flexible Work
Nurse anesthetists have a variety of places in which they can work, including hospitals, dental offices, pain clinics, physicians’ offices, plastic surgery centers, and endoscopy, among others. They work not just during surgical procedures but also work in pre-operative, post-operative and even outpatient settings. Because of their extensive education and knowledge, nurse anesthetists may also work independently or on an on-call basis. Nurse anesthetists may also have the opportunity to travel as part of their jobs. Nurse anesthetists who may not like the clinical setting or may be in need of a change may choose to work as clinical professors, researchers or program directors.
5. Professional Pride
Working as a nurse anesthetist is the result of hard work and years of commitment, and it also provides the candidate with a sense of professional pride as he or she tells others she’s a Certified Register Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). It’s not just the pride that comes from having the title but also the pride of knowing they have the ability to provide various types of patient care beyond that of administering anesthesia. Even after being a CRNA, the individual is required to complete many clinical hours to maintain certification, which is also something the individual can take pride in.
The reasons mentioned are only a few of the many reasons why individuals choose to become nurse anesthetists. Unlike many occupations that tend to become boring with time, nurse anesthetists have enough job opportunities, settings and possibilities that this career seems to always offer some new and exciting opportunity!
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