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Career profile Nurse Anesthetist

Also known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); Chief Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Chief CRNA); Chief Nurse Anesthetist; Nurse Anesthetist; Professor/Nurse Anesthetist; Senior Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Senior CRNA); Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Staff CRNA); Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesia Service (Staff CRNA, Anesthesia Service); Staff Nurse Anesthetist

Nurse Anesthetist

Also known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); Chief Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Chief CRNA); Chief Nurse Anesthetist; Nurse Anesthetist; Professor/Nurse Anesthetist; Senior Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Senior CRNA); Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (Staff CRNA); Staff Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Anesthesia Service (Staff CRNA, Anesthesia Service); Staff Nurse Anesthetist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$133,970 - $208,000+ (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Biology
Core tasks
  • Manage patients' airway or pulmonary status, using techniques such as endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, pharmacological support, respiratory therapy, and extubation.
  • Respond to emergency situations by providing airway management, administering emergency fluids or drugs, or using basic or advanced cardiac life support techniques.
  • Monitor patients' responses, including skin color, pupil dilation, pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, ventilation, or urine output, using invasive and noninvasive techniques.
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What does a Nurse Anesthetist do?

Nurse Anesthetists administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia.

In addition, Nurse Anesthetists

  • may assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists,
  • must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

What kind of tasks does a Nurse Anesthetist perform regularly?

Nurse Anesthetists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Manage patients' airway or pulmonary status, using techniques such as endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, pharmacological support, respiratory therapy, and extubation.
  • Respond to emergency situations by providing airway management, administering emergency fluids or drugs, or using basic or advanced cardiac life support techniques.
  • Monitor patients' responses, including skin color, pupil dilation, pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, ventilation, or urine output, using invasive and noninvasive techniques.
  • Select, order, or administer anesthetics, adjuvant drugs, accessory drugs, fluids or blood products as necessary.
  • Select, prepare, or use equipment, monitors, supplies, or drugs for the administration of anesthetics.
  • Assess patients' medical histories to predict anesthesia response.
  • Perform or manage regional anesthetic techniques, such as local, spinal, epidural, caudal, nerve blocks and intravenous blocks.
  • Develop anesthesia care plans.
  • Obtain informed consent from patients for anesthesia procedures.
  • Prepare prescribed solutions and administer local, intravenous, spinal, or other anesthetics, following specified methods and procedures.
  • Perform pre-anesthetic screenings, including physical evaluations and patient interviews, and document results.
  • Calibrate and test anesthesia equipment.
  • Evaluate patients' post-surgical or post-anesthesia responses, taking appropriate corrective actions or requesting consultation if complications occur.
  • Administer post-anesthesia medications or fluids to support patients' cardiovascular systems.
  • Select and prescribe post-anesthesia medications or treatments to patients.
  • Perform or evaluate the results of diagnostic tests, such as radiographs (x-rays) and electrocardiograms (EKGs).
  • Select, order, or administer pre-anesthetic medications.
  • Insert peripheral or central intravenous catheters.
  • Insert arterial catheters or perform arterial punctures to obtain arterial blood samples.
  • Discharge patients from post-anesthesia care.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in audiology.
  • Request anesthesia equipment repairs, adjustments, or safety tests.
  • Instruct nurses, residents, interns, students, or other staff on topics such as anesthetic techniques, pain management and emergency responses.
  • Disassemble and clean anesthesia equipment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Nurse Anesthetists. More generally, Nurse Anesthetists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Nurse Anesthetist salary?

The median salary for a Nurse Anesthetist is $183,580, and the average salary is $189,190. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Nurse Anesthetist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Nurse Anesthetists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Nurse Anesthetists earn less than $133,970 per year, 25% earn less than $154,540, 75% earn more than $208,000, and 90% earn more than $208,000.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Nurse Anesthetists is expected to change by 12.7%, and there should be roughly 2,900 open positions for Nurse Anesthetists every year.

Median annual salary
$183,580
Typical salary range
$133,970 - Over $208,000
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
12.7%

What personality traits are common among Nurse Anesthetists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Nurse Anesthetist are usually higher in their Investigative, Realistic, and Social interests.

Nurse Anesthetists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Nurse Anesthetists typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Lastly, Nurse Anesthetists typically have moderate Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Nurse Anesthetist tend to value Support, Relationships, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Nurse Anesthetists strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Nurse Anesthetists strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Lastly, Nurse Anesthetists moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Nurse Anesthetists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as stress tolerance, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Nurse Anesthetists, ranked by importance:

Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

What education and training do Nurse Anesthetists need?

Many Nurse Anesthetists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..

Nurse Anesthetists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Educational degrees among Nurse Anesthetists

  • 0.8% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 0.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 0.4% completed some college coursework
  • 1.3% earned a Associate's degree
  • 10.2% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 72.1% earned a Master's degree
  • 15.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Anesthetists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as medicine and dentistry, customer and personal service, or biology knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Nurse Anesthetists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Biology
Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry
Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Anesthetists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Nurse Anesthetists need abilities such as problem sensitivity, oral comprehension, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Nurse Anesthetists, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Information Ordering
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Nurse Anesthetists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Nurse Anesthetists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, critical thinking, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Nurse Anesthetists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Learning
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.