The last blog we posted was about how to become a nurse. Now that you know how to become a nurse, we thought we would give you more information on what a nurse actually does. A registered nurse has many responsibilities that they need to take care of during the day. Some of these responsibilities included:
- Performing physical exams and finding out health histories
- Providing health promotion, counseling and education
- Administer medications
- Interpret patient information and make decisions about the patient information
- Coordinate care
- Direct and supervise care delivered by LPNs and CNAs
Most people think of nurses working in a hospital, but a nurse can actually perform these tasks in many different settings. Some of these settings include: nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care centers, schools, prisons, homeless shelters, sporting events and retail clinics.
Justin and I are both going into the nursing field, so we thought we would give you a little more information about what we are going to be doing in Nursing in our specific fields. Justin wants to go to be a certified registered nurse anesthetist and I would like be a labor and delivery nurse.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Written by: Justin Washburn
One of the many possible career opportunities for Registered Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Nurse Anesthetist for short. CRNA’s are Nurses who work in an advanced clinical specialty, anesthesia. Nurse Anesthetists are essentially anesthesia professionals who administer and maintain a patient’s anesthesia needs before, during, and after any surgical session.
So, what is the difference between a Nurse Anesthetist and an Anesthesiologist? Simple, Nurse Anesthetists do not attend Medical School, nor do they attend schooling for as long as any other doctor would. Nurse Anesthetists also are not required to pay such large Insurance proportions to their practice. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is done so under the supervision of an Anesthesiologist. Nurse Anesthetist practice is recognized as the practice of nursing, however when anesthesia is administered by an Anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. One of the many benefits of this is the reduced expense to patients and insurance companies.
In order to become a CRNA, one must first acquire a BSN and maintain a license as a registered nurse. As a nurse, one must also have a minimum of ONE YEAR experience in an acute care setting, or trauma center. Upon completion of these three basic steps, acceptance into an accredited Nurse Anesthesia Education Program is required for the extensive education in Anesthesia.
Once you have completed a 24-36 month Nurse Anesthesia Education Program, you will have obtained a Master’s Degree in some type of science, depending on the institution. If you manage to pass a national certification examination, you will have officially become a Nurse Anesthetist!
Nurse Anesthetists are able to practice in a variety of settings in both the private and public health field. From hospitals, to clinics, to even military bases, CRNA’s can practice individually or in groups as collaboration. Due to the high demand of CRNA’s, there are many opportunities for general or specialty practice here in the United States.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
A nurse that works in labor and delivery works with the mothers that are giving birth and the babies after they have been born. As a labor and delivery nurse you will be preparing the mother and the family for delivery. Additionally, you will help make sure the baby doesn’t have any complications after birth. You will also be helping the mother adjust to taking care of the new born. For example, a nurse will help the mother learn how to breastfeed. Some of the specific things you will be doing are:
- Monitoring the baby’s heart rate
- Monitoring the mother’s blood pressure
- Time the contractions
- Help with any complications
- Administer medications
- Help with inducing labor
- Prepare the mother before, during and after the pregnancy
I have chosen to go into labor and delivery, because I get to experience another life being brought into this world. I feel like it would be so rewarding to be able to be a part of bringing someone into this world. Also, I want to go into this area because of how fast-paced it is and I know I will always have something to do.