SRNA Boot Camp

Credit: Keith Weller

Credit: Keith Weller

It is now April and our new Registered Student Nurse Anesthetist’s (SRNA’s) have been in the OR now since January – just a total of three months now.  The progress that they have all made in the operating room really has been tremendous.  To see students come into the operating room for the first time, seeing their nervous hands attempt their first intubations, watching their progress in anesthesia management has really be a privilege to see and participate in.  One of the questions I have always asked myself is, what are the qualities in students that make for their success and what are the things that we can do as mentors and clinical instructors to facilitate that development.  For so many of our students success comes easily and its really difficult to do anything wrong with them.  It seams that that these students just fly right from the start.  Then there is the rare student that will try your soul in getting them to progress into the safe and efficient anesthesia provider you envision for them.



I think there is an answer.  SRNA boot camp is certainly part of the solution.  We have a program that a couple of the faculty CRNA’s / MD’s have started a couple of years ago that puts all of the students into a simulation setting before getting them into the operating room.  The amount of work that has gone into this program really has been great.  The scenario production alone takes a great deal of time.  My good friends Charlotte and Catherine have headed up our program for the students doing a fabulous job in the simulation room.  Each year now the transition into the operating room setting has been smoother for our students in great part due to the time they have spent in the simulation room.

Terrie Cheryl and LaurelIn leading Universities across the country the use of simulation is becoming increasingly important in the education and training of Nurses.  As an example, Duke University School of Nursing has a web page devoted to simulation here.  The University of Southern California department of Emergency Medicine has a very active simulation training as does the Anesthesiology department.  Simulation will be integral in the future of recertification for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. The NBCRNA, the organization that sets the standards for certification and recertification has indicated that in the future simulation will play a big part in that process.  Rectification is the future but for right now getting our students through the educational and training program safely and expertly is key.  The use of simulation is certainly a growing part of that training.  If that does not work I have another thing we can try, a real boot camp.  No I am not kidding.  Here is Geoff as a student and now one of our excellent faculty going through a former boot camp session.

Boot Camp

Actually, Geoff was late for an AM meeting and this was his reward.  All in good fun because our SRNA’s train hard, study hard and play infrequently we hope.


SimMan is a registered trademark of the Laerdal company and is used in simulation centers across the country.

Categories : Student Life


  1. At one clinical site, a CRNA gave us all stress balls to squeeze so we couldn’t cramp up while masking patients for two hours–does that count as boot camp?

  2. David Roy says:

    Hey Nick
    Yes that does count for boot camp. It has been a long time since I did a strictly MASK case but as a student I was asked to do a mask case for an inguinal hernia that lasted 3 hours. Now that was interesting. The question that was put to me was, “what is the difference between a mask only case and one with an LMA?” I will let our more senior members comment on that one hahahahaha.

  3. Melanie Davis says:

    I am currently an Associate Degree held R.N. I am pursuing my R.N to BSN in January. I feel success is guaranteed if you begin preparation early. I would like to begin studying some of the math and science that will help me once I begin my nurse anesthetist course of study. Since I was not a straight A student what can you recommend I begin working on to have me academically prepared.

  4. David Roy says:


    Good for you.



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