4 minute read

Nurse Anesthetist Job Description, Career as a Nurse Anesthetist, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Specialized degree and license

Median Salary: $145,216 per year

Job Prospects: Very good

Job Description

This specialized medical professional works as a registered nurse who can administer anesthetics. Nurse anesthetists work with patients to ensure that they receive appropriate levels of these important drugs before surgeries or other procedures. As anesthetics involve very specialized administration, the profession of nurse anesthetists requires not only working experience in patient care but also specialized training in how to handle anesthesia and anesthetics properly.

Nurse anesthetists work under the direction of doctors and surgeons and in conjunction with the nursing and operating room staff. They are responsible for reviewing and understanding a patient’s condition and treatment options, so that they can be certain how the anesthetics will respond within the patient. Nurse anesthetists are not only responsible for the administration of the anesthetics before the procedure, but they must monitor the patient throughout the patient’s anesthesia to ensure that the patient is handling the drugs appropriately. Nurse anesthetists must alter the amount of the drug and the speed at which it’s administered as necessary throughout the surgery so that the patient is kept in the best possible care.

Nurse anesthetists are important before, during, and after a surgery. First and foremost, they must mix and put together the appropriate concentration and mix of anesthetics, which requires great skill and focus. This means that the nurse must be well-informed of the patient’s condition and any allergies or medical history that may influence what medicines the patient can handle. Nurse anesthetists must then work with the patient, under the direction of the doctor, to physically administer the anesthetics, and they must use their skills in patient care as they work to keep the patient calm in this sometimes stressful scenario.

The job for a nurse anesthetist doesn’t end there, though, because they must keep an eye on the vital signs of the patient as the surgery progresses. The nurse is responsible for ensuring that the patient’s vital signs stay healthy and normal, and they must immediately inform the surgeon or doctor if anything seems unusual. The nurse then works with the patient through recovery, bringing the patient out of anesthesia and ensuring that the patient is responding well and getting back to normal. Nurse anesthetists must work well with both the whole medical staff and the patient every step of the way.

Training/Educational Requirements

To work as a nurse anesthetist, an individual must have completed several prerequisites. First and foremost, they must have completed nursing school and hold a license as a registered nurse. They must have a minimum of one year of practical nursing experience under their belt, though many will have more. Though they do not need a master’s degree, nurse anesthetists must have a specialized license to practice in this capacity. They must complete a training program and pass an exam to become licensed.

There is ongoing training required for this very specialized position. Nurse anesthetists must work to keep their license current, and the requirements may vary by state. It can be helpful for them to keep their skills fresh also so that they stay competitive. Attending any industry events can be an excellent way for nurse anesthetists to keep current and form relationships with others in the field.

How to Get Hired

As there is an initial general nursing requirement, one of the best ways to get hired as a nurse anesthetist is for a nurse to stay working in primary care while pursue the specialized license in anesthetics. Once becoming a licensed nurse anesthetist, showing a background in patient care and the fulfillment of all educational requirements is what will help an individual to get hired.

As they move throughout their career, nurse anesthetists find that experience is the most important factor for getting hired. They must prove themselves by demonstrating ability and strength in working with patients and medical staff in providing the best care possible in this important area.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

The outlook for nurse anesthetists is very good because this is a career in high demand within the already booming health care industry. As there are always patients in need of surgeries, there is always demand for this specialized profession, so being a nurse practitioner can also being very lucrative. For those with experience in the field, there is great potential for growth. Most medical facilities and hospitals where procedures and surgeries are performed are always in need of nurse anesthetists, and this can mean great potential for growth.

Working Environment

The work environment for a nurse anesthetist is typically a hospital or medical facility where surgeries or procedures are performed and patients must receive anesthetics. Nurse anesthetists travel between patient rooms, where they handle all preparation; from their own space within the facility where they create the necessary solutions; to the operating room where they monitor the patient; and to the recovery room to provide a final monitoring of the patient. Nurse anesthetists work all over the hospital. They may work long hours and may be in a rather stressful environment most of the time, as most patients are a bit apprehensive about having surgery performed. It is quite beneficial if a nurse anesthetist has a calm and reassuring demeanor even in stressful times, so that they can take care of their patients in these situations.

Salary and Benefits

This very specialized nursing role tends to average about $145,216 per year. The salary range is anywhere between $135,388 and $155,415. Among the factors that contribute to the salary variance are experience, geographical location, and employer. Generally, those in this position receive very generous benefits, including paid vacation and sick days, as well as excellent medical coverage. They usually receive some sort of pension savings plan as well, and they may even receive other benefits, such as a flexible work schedule.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesHealth & Medicine