A First Year Student Nurse Anesthetist Speaks Up


FrazerMy name is Fraser MacFarlane and I am a nurse anesthetist student at the University of Southern California. Our class is 5 weeks into the process of nurse anesthesia studies. I can’t tell you of the excitement, hope, anticipation, fear and intense expectations I have felt here on the runway into this profession. The volume of information and the realization of the full responsibilities that come to the student through the learning process are almost too much to handle. Talk about sympathetic stimulation!

Just a little bit about me. I was born in Scotland and moved to the U.S. when I was about 10. I’ve lived in Los Angeles most of my life. However, I married my sweetheart, LaRae in Utah. I have an awesome wife. She is rock solid with a back bone of steel. I wouldn’t be perusing my education without her tremendous encouragement and support. She is currently in Utah tying up some loose ends I have with rental properties. I have two teenage daughters, Megan 14 and Brianna 13. My wife and children will move to L.A.
after Christmas. I miss them a great deal right now.

I have 12 years nursing experience. I did home care for almost 5 years. This prompted me to open a residential care facility for the elderly. My family lived in this home along with dementia clients. Yeeeehaa… what an experience that was. My kids learned what getting old can really be like. Your furniture starts taking on a new odor. Diapers appear in the hallway, and sometimes you’ve just got to take an anxious, confused old man for a walk
before he hurts someone. I sold that facility 2002.

Anyhow, I have 1 year CCU, 2 year Telemetry, 5 years Home health, 1 year ICU and 3 years med/surg. I am stoked for this opportunity to become a CRNA.

Thank you for this opportunity to post on the Nurse Anesthetist web site. There has been a great deal of effort put into creating this web site and adding my post to it now is sweet. Here are just a few thoughts from a green first year nurse anesthetist student. Looking at the posting on valve surgery replacement scares the tar out of me. At the same time I understand that divide and conquer is the process to greater confidence and skill. A large portion of educational motivation stems from psychological preparation and that belief in ones self precedes true learning. For me the inner battle will be fought on this ground; having confidence to believe in ones self.

I am surrounded by an excellent group of fellow students that are with me here at USC. The excellent support system and well educated and very skilled instructors are all here participating. I have been given the opportunity of a life time to study anesthesia.

Next time I post will be at the close of the first semester and as we shall see if I still am as excited as I feel now.

Categories : Anesthesia, Student Life


  1. admin says:

    Thanks Fraser and good luck in your studies.

  2. dawnlang says:

    Fraser, It sounds like you are going into the program in a good frame of mind. I hope you will keep us entailed in the happenings of school and your experiences. Which courses you find the hardest and also most enjoyable. I am eager to learn what to expect when I get there and what things I can learn and focus on in the meantime in order to be better prepared.

    Best of luck!!

  3. jmackie says:

    Fraser, I hope that your first semester(s) were richly rewarding. From my standpiont, just avoiding implosion is a success if you are a SRNA. I’m totally tickled to be following in the footsteps of those who post here, as i begin the program in August ’06.

    QUESTION for all readers: I do not currently utilize a PDA in my ICU practice. Would you recommend to start using one? If you’re recommending to buy and use, then how does the PDA figure into or affect your practice?



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