Additionally, these nurses tend to obstetric patients in labor and delivery, patients with chronic pain or trauma pain, dental patients or outpatients undergoing procedures in clinics offering specialty services like plastic surgery or podiatry.
CRNAs are particularly needed in rural areas, where qualified physicians are often in short supply.
In many states, they perform virtually all anesthetic administration in sparsely populated areas.
Nurse anesthetists care for patients before, during and after procedures.
Each patient responds to pain differently; one person’s gentle sigh could be another’s howl of agony.
It’s important for CRNAs to understand all possible indications of discomfort, including non-verbal cues.
Their high level of expertise allows them to administer anesthesia for all types of surgical cases, from dental surgery and common outpatient procedures to the most complex in-patient surgical procedures.
Not surprisingly, CRNAs are also recognized as earning the highest salaries among all advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles.
Though they most often work as part of an anesthesiologist-led team in hospital surgical units and for integrated health systems, nurse anesthetists also play a vital role as independent providers of anesthesia care.
In states with large rural populations living in counties and townships designated as health professional shortage areas, nurse anesthetists often serve as the sole providers of anesthesia care in rural hospitals. RNs interested in becoming certified registered nurse anesthetists can look forward to a tremendous amount of respect within the healthcare community, a high demand for their unique expertise, the freedom to work independently in a variety of settings, and top salaries.