Passed Board Exam!


Well its official. I passed boards. The notice of board results can be seen at the AANA web site under Certification Verification. After taking that crazy board exam I was perplexed as to how I actually did on the exam so its been a long ten days checking for results each morning at the AANA web site. We are precluded from discussing the exam itself but I can tell you that the board exam from the CCNA is very probing and examines your knowledge and understanding of physiology and the anesthetic implications at very sophisticated levels. My exam shut off at 90 questions. From what I have heard from other people this is either very good or very bad. The board exam is a test that learns from your answers what questions to give you tailoring each test individually selecting questions out of the very large pool. Each test is different if I understand this correctly. This has been a long and difficult road climbing this mountain but the view from the other side is terrific. Just take a look at the view.

Currently Jennifer and I are in Shanghai visiting her parents for the Chinese Moon Festival. Each morning I would get up first thing and turn the computer on and go to the AANA web site looking for the board exam results. I know that sounds nuts but I just could not wait for the mail and the end of our trip overseas to find out the results of the board exam.

So what can I now recommend as study preparation for the board exams you ask. First I would not put off any review for the board exam but to study daily the entire time while doing clinical rotations. A through review of medical physiology is a must. My choice is the LANGE publication by Ganong, “Review of Medical Physiology” as a must read. This is not a large text but dense and will require several months of careful reading and rereading to gather the appropriate understanding of the specific anatomy and physiology that is required knowledge to do well on the nurse anesthesia board exam. Maybe I could give you a general example of how specific the board exam is.

One of the favorite subjects on the board exam has been the endocrine system and the interactions with anesthesia. The pituitary glad as you may recall is located in the Sella Tursica, a cave like bony structure and is histologically divided into three sections. In humans the intermediate lobe section is underdeveloped and rudimentary. The posterior pitutiary or neurohypophysis is the site of excretion of ADH (vasopressin) and oxytocin which are structurally similar. It is interesting to note that oxytocin has antidiuretic qualities because of the structural similarity of these two hormones. I digress. The point I am getting to is that the source of the posterior pituitary hormones in from higher structures in the hypothalamus, specifically the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei. Nerve axons project from these structures and descend out of the “Blood brain barrier” down to the posterior pituitary where they are released when physiologically stimulated. A full review of this and all of the physiology surrounding these structures and the actions of all of the hormones along with the anesthesia implications is highly suggested. Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology and the Anesthesia and Co-existing Disease book by Stoelting are both highly recommended.

Brother, that was a mouth full. So which part of this do you need to know to pass boards? I am afraid that this is just a small example of the detail between structure and function that is requried. Its been overwhelming and the more that I study the more I realize that I know very little.

Good luck to all that are preparing for the board exam and don’t forget the small details. I guess it would be correct to say that knowledge at a superficial level will leave you really perplexed when you take boards while knowing the fine details will help you navigate your way through the questions. Again good luck.

Categories : General


  1. propofolguy says:


  2. Cedarsgasman says:

    Congratulations!!!! I knew you were going to pass easily. You have truly overcome the #%. Yeah Baby…SAWEEEET!!!

  3. admin says:

    Thanks Bob,
    You are the Bomb!!!


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