My name is…. not important. All you really need to know is that I am a 2nd year CRNA student. My program is over 2 years long and I’m in the home stretch, only 355 days to go. Not that I’m counting!
It blows my mind how far I’ve come so far. There is a joke that by the end of your first year, you know just enough to kill someone. By the end of your second year, you know just enough to NOT kill someone.
That means I’m somewhere in between. Some days I feel like I have totally got this. Some days I am amazed that I haven’t managed to get kicked out yet. Sounds extreme maybe, but the truth is that CRNA school makes you feel bipolar. It is a roller coaster. Some days are good, some days are not. But you have to keep plugging along, take it one day at a time, and know that in the end you’ll have your dream job of being a CRNA!
So what is it really like being in CRNA school? It’s one of those things where you have no idea what you are truly getting into until you’re there. Everything you have heard is true, and nothing you have heard is true. Confused yet? Whelp that’s where I come in. I’m going to tell you my experiences with CRNA school, in the hopes that it’ll prepare you for yours.
So you’ve gotten your acceptance letter or call or email, now what? #1 – celebrate!! Tell all your family and friends who’ve supported you! Enjoy the excitement of reaching your goal. You’re going to Nurse Anesthesia school!!! Woohoo!!
Ok ok, calm down. Time to get serious again. A word of caution. I would recommend NOT telling your employer right away, unless you are already giving notice to go. Usually you have a few months before school starts that you’ll keep working, so wait. Give at least 2 weeks’ notice, but even 3-4 weeks is appropriate. Keep in mind that even though people at work seem happy for you, things will change. I can almost guarantee it. Your assignments will get harder. Your schedule will get worse. You will soon become…. the gopher. By this I mean that whether your supervisor and charge nurses do it consciously or not, they are less accommodating once they know you’re leaving.
There is less motivation to keep you happy, because you’re leaving regardless. I say this not only from personal experience, but also from those of my classmates. Do yourself a favor and keep it quiet. If you do tell a few people at work, make sure they know that it is not common knowledge yet so that they won’t break the news for you before you’re ready.
People always ask what they can study to prepare for CRNA school. In all honesty? Don’t bother. You are going to have 2+ years of intense anesthesia training, and they will teach you everything you need to know. Besides that, the anesthesia books will be a foreign language and will only serve to stress you out at this point. If you are one of those people that absolutely HAS to look something over before school starts, then I’d recommend Nagelhout’s Nurse Anesthesia.
This book is solid gold. It is co-written by Karen Plaus, who assists in writing the boards for our licensing! You can absolutely guarantee that this will be the primary book you use throughout school, regardless of which school you attend.
Ok back to another fun topic. Now that you have a start date for school, take full advantage of the time you have left. Make sure that you give yourself time between your last day of work and your first day of school. You need time to get all of your ducks in a row so that you can start school rested and ready to go. If you can, take a vacation! Even if it is just a weekend away.
Spend as much time with your friends and family as possible. Rest. Relax. Recharge. And have some fun. Get ready because your future as a SRNA is fast approaching!