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A Day In The Life Of a Nurse Anesthetist

Apr 08, 2010

Well, becoming a certified anesthetist might be a great career move for you! And no, not because you are dull, but because you obviously have a natural talent for putting people to sleep.

All jokes aside, this career is a promising one that is an essential part of the medical field. As a certified nurse anesthetist you will be responsible for administering anesthesia to patients who are undergoing medical procedures or need pain management. Working as a nurse anesthetist can be very challenging, fast paced, and rewarding as you are helping people feel better.

If you work in a hospital where the majority of nurse anesthetists work, you will check in to your shift at the nursing station. Your schedule will outline where and when you are needed, and what type of anesthesia is called for. You may need to make rounds to visit patients who are recovering from surgeries, or suffering from painful ailments to see how they are managing their pain and whether adjustments are needed.

Any changes will be noted on the patient’s medical chart, and a registered nurse will fulfill the order while you move onto the next payment. You may have a lot of time to complete rounds, or you may have to hurry to complete your rounds before you are needed for surgery.

Generally you will meet with the patient before surgery to explain the procedure for anesthesia and cover any side effects that may occur. The patient may have questions about how long they will be under for, and what they will feel like when they wake up. Once you have discussed the patient’s medical history and are reassured that there are not major issues to giving the patient anesthesia you can sign off on the procedure and head to the operating room.

You will need to arrive at the surgical floor in time to set up your tools and medications before the patient arrives. You will have to scrub in, glove up, and put on a gown and mask to ensure that everything is sterile in the operating room. When the room is ready the patient will arrive prepped for surgery and you will administer anesthesia to put them under so surgery can start.

During surgery you will stay by the patient’s side and constantly monitor their vital signs. General anesthesia has its risks so you will have to be ready should the patient’s vitals take a turn for the worse. You may also have to make adjustments to the anesthesia to ensure that the patient cannot feel any pain and remains motionless so the surgeons can do their work.

When the surgery is completed you will stop anesthesia and give the patient medication to help them wake up. They may be woozy or nauseous, and you can help them by giving them medication that combats these side effects. Then the patient will be taken to a recovery room for close monitoring while they wake up and the results of their surgery is assessed. Meanwhile, you will move on to your next task – which may be another surgery or more rounds.

Some nurse anesthetists work in dental offices and perform the same duties as those who work in a hospital. These nurses help put a patient under so a dentist can perform dental surgery. Still other nurse anesthetists work in long term care homes and help residents who are suffering from diseases and aging ailments with pain management. These workers make regular rounds to find out how patients are coping and may switch or adjust their medication to make the patient feel more comfortable.

Being a nurse anesthetist takes a lot of hard work and training, but it is definitely a worthwhile career for someone who likes to work with people. Consider this career if you want an opportunity to help others and earn a great income.

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