Difference Between an Anesthesiologist and a Nurse Anesthetist

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Nurse Anesthetist vs MDA

In the world of medicine there are as many types of physicians as there are sicknesses. Every complaint or illness can be treated by a medical practitioner specifically trained for that ailment. The nursing profession, as with doctors, is also specialized to provide skilled care for today’s patient. Indeed, for every facet of the medical field there is a place where doctors and nurses can find their niche. This also extends to the field of anesthesiology. Complicated medical procedures call for competent anesthesiology professionals. But in this case, what are the real differences between anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists? Nurse anesthetists are truly amazing individuals. Enjoy as we discuss their professional roles deeper.

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Job Description

In comparison, many of the functions an anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist perform are basically the same. Both anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists assess the patient before medical procedures requiring anesthesia. Both administer anesthesia during surgery and monitor the patient throughout the procedure. Post operative monitoring is also performed to watch for and correct any complications. Both anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists fulfill vital functions to aid in the care of a patient before, during and after an operation. Anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists are held to the same strict safety standards and guidelines.
An anesthesiologist is a licensed medical doctor who has completed medical school just as other doctors have, completing about 12 years of schooling and also completing an anesthesia residency. Anesthesiologists have the option to work for various hospitals, thus moving around and not solely contracted to one medical facility.

CRNA School

Nurse anesthetists, unlike anesthesiologists, have different schooling requirements. To become a CRNA you must first attend an accredited nursing program and graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Upon graduating the program a nurse must become licensed by passing the NCLEX exam. In order to apply to CRNA school a nurse must work for a minimum of one year in ICU. Every nurse anesthesia program has slight variations in what requirements they have to get into CRNA school. Once all the requirements are met a nurse can then apply to an anesthesia program.

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When a Masters of Science in Nurse Anesthesia has been attained, you are then eligible to sit for the National Certification Exam (NCE). Passing this exam results in an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse licensure given by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetist (NBCRNA). Roughly 6-7 years of schooling and experience are required. Along with the different schooling requirements, in most states, nurse anesthetists cannot administer anesthesia without the supervision of a board certified doctor.

Areas of Work

As for places of work, nurse anesthetists,as with anesthesiologists,can be found in hospitals but are more commonly used in smaller facilities, offices and clinics and are less likely to work freelance. Nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists are a necessary addition to the medical field. Although they perform the same basic functions, slight differences in their job requirements and background make them each a specialized and valued member of the medical profession.

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If you are wanting to know more about how to become a nurse anesthetist please checkout our CRNA career guide called CRNA School Admissions: The Cold Hard Facts. It provides you will a clear and concise path for becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. You will be shown how to pick a CRNA school, meet all the requirements to apply, write personal essays, job shadow CRNAs, and put together a stellar application that will impress any CRNA school. If you would like more information please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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