Nursing Essay, Research Paper
The nursing field extends many opportunities to be a very important part of the health care team. Nursing involves direct patient contact and varied skills and abilities. A nurse has a unique opportunity to ensure that they care for a patient’s comforts and needs, and can make a difference in every patient’s life. Various challenging opportunities are available under the broad category of nursing.
A wide range of career opportunities is open to registered nurses. Many nurses choose to specialize once within the field of nursing. One specialized field that nurses can go into is nurse anesthesia. As anesthesia specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists administer more than 65% of the twenty-six million anesthetics given to patients each year. They have licensed and certified registered nurse anesthetists in all fifty states. To become a nurse anesthetist, it is necessary to first become a registered nurse.
There are four ways to become a registered nurse. It is possible through a two-year community college, earning an associate’s degree in nursing, or through a three-year hospital based nursing school, earning a diploma. Other possible ways include a four-year university program, resulting in a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing, or the B.S.N., as it is commonly called. For those who have a bachelor’s degree in another subject, there is a generic master’s degree in nursing, a two or a three-year program beyond the bachelor’s degree. In the future, the B.S.N. is being considered the minimum qualification for a satisfying career. The two-year associate’s degree and the hospital-based diploma programs are rapidly closing around the country, and student nurses are being encouraged to enroll in four-year universities.
Nursing education includes classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience in hospitals and other health facilities. Students take courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and other behavioral sciences, and nursing. Corse work also includes liberal arts’ classes. Hospital departments provide supervised clinical experience in pediatrics, psychiatry, maternity, and surgery. Several programs include clinical experience in nursing homes, public health departments, home health agencies, and ambulatory clinics.
The nurse anesthetist is an essential part of the surgical team. They are highly skilled and highly educated specialists who, under the direction of a physician, administer anesthetics to patients for all types of surgery. The nurse anesthetist prepares for a medical procedure by setting up assigned operating rooms with necessary equipment and supplies, meeting with assigned patients, and by completing necessary preoperative procedures. Preoperative procedures may include administering medication, hooking up the patient’s IV, and connecting the patient to a life support system. When the patient goes into the operating room for their surgery, the CRNA administers either a general or local anesthetic to the patient. They also practice in the obstetrics department, with psychiatric patients, in the respiratory therapy department, the emergency room and in dental offices. Attention to vital signs and changes in the patient’s condition is one important function of the nurse anesthetist. This is a field in which the nurse-patient relationship is critically important. The CRNA has to apply physiologic and psychologic principles with sensitivity while also employing technical skills and theoretical knowledge.
The nurse anesthesia programs range from twenty-four to thirty-six months in length and encompass an academic and clinical practicum on a college degree level. The classroom curriculum emphasizes anatomy, physiology, pathophysilolgy, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and pharmacology as they relate to anesthesia. All programs must offer a Master of Science degree or higher beginning in 1998. All programs require a four-year college degree in science or nursing, and at least one year of acute car nursing experience before entry. Schools usually define acute care as intensive care, coronary care, and emergency/trauma care. Once a student has completed their educational work, the nurse is eligible to take a national certification examination and become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. Laws also require continuing education every two years for recertification.
Nurse Anesthetists work with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals in well-lighted, air-conditioned, and surgically clean surroundings. They wear a surgical gown, cap, and mask while administering the anesthetics. Nurse anesthetists may need to lift, move, and position patients receiving anesthetics. While they are administering the anesthetic, they may stand or sit in one position for long durations of time.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists are very much in demand and have many opportunities throughout the united states. The demand will continue to be excellent through the year 2010. This occupation is one of a group of registered nurses estimated to grow more than 33 percent.
Reflecting the amount of responsibility, nurse anesthetists are one of the best paid nursing specialities. The reported average salary in 1997 was approximately $86,000. The middle 50 percent earned between $74,700 and $90,300. An article in the September 21, 1992, issue of Fortune magazine included nurse anesthetists among the top 20% of income earners in America.