What Is A Nurse Anesthetist?
These nurses administer anesthesia to patients that are about to undergo surgery or a serious medical procedure. The anesthesia puts the patient in a restful state during these procedures so they do not feel any pain. The patient also becomes stationary so the doctor does not have to worry about him or her moving around during the operation.
The anesthesia treatment consist of a quick education session between the nurse anesthetist and the patient. The nurse informs the patient of the different side effects of anesthesia and answers all questions related to the treatment.
It is important for these nurses to inspect the medical records of their patients to know how their bodies react to anesthesia treatment. Sometimes patients have very bad reactions to the treatment. Which could make their condition worse or unable to undergo medical operation or surgery.
It is also their job to monitor the patient's heart rate, blood pressure, vital signs, breathing, body temperature, and movement. This is all to make sure the patient is reacting well to the anesthesia treatment and the medication.
Nurse Anesthetist Work Schedule
Like nurse practitioners, a nurse anesthetist's hours depend on a couple factors. These factors are where they work, how often are they are needed, the patient load, are they short of staff?, if another nurse calls out sick and operation hours of the healthcare facility.
A nurse anesthetist can also work for private practices, health clinics, or doctor's office as well. These places are usually only open during business hours. That means the nurses only have to work during those hours of operation. Business hours might be 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. This turns out to be a 40 to 50 hour week for the anesthetists.
However, nurse anesthetists that work in hospitals have their hours set much differently than the nurses that work in private practices. They could be working anywhere from 8 to 24 hour long shifts. It all depends on what the hospital's demands are at that moment in time. These nurses can also work overtime if they need or decide to.
Nurse Anesthetists that work 8 to 12 hour shifts work more shifts per week than nurses that have longer shifts. If a nurse has 8 to 12 hour shifts then they are usually working 3 to 5 times a week.
If you are working 16+ hours a day and you will only be asked to only 2 times a week. This is what makes sense from a weekly scheduling perspective. If you 16 to 24 hour long shifts then you will meet the 40 hour weekly limit much quicker than someone works 8 hours a day.
Nurse Anesthetists can have a lot of responsibilities. Some also work a lot of hours. Others do not. Like travel nurses and flight nurses, their hours can be over the place. Especially, if they work in a hospital.
If you are working in 24/7 healthcare facility, then expect your shifts to be longer at times. You will be working against a lot variables that are out of your control. This is a great way to earn valuable experience though. Plus you get paid time and a half for working overtime. Working extra hours has its benefits.
Working in a office has its benefits as well. Nurse anesthetists will most likely only be working during business hours. Which means they will only work 40 to 50 hours a week. These nurses tend to get paid more per hour than nurses in hospitals. However, doctor's offices usually look for nurses anesthetists with hospital experience.