The Shadow KnowsBy
The “Shadow” experience for potential nurse anesthetist students is one of the critical preparatory moves that anyone interested in the field of nurse anesthesia must take before deciding that this is “it”. What better way for a person to find out if this is a field that they would like to be a part of and be able to adapt to than to spend a day with a nurse anesthetist. The experience in the operating room Shadowing a provider taking care of patients will not only demonstrate what we do in dramatic fashion but give the potential nurse anesthetist candidate an opportunity to be challenged to be more – way more. That’s what “The Shadow” knows.
Before the immersion process into anesthesia practice many of us had assumptions about what the world of anesthesia care is and what it takes to be a nurse anesthetist. Its only by being in the mix can it be demonstrated. It’s only my opinion now – every one has their place in the world where they can be their best and do good work. Where is it for you? For me its in the operating room giving kind attentive care with anesthesia and mentoring others to do the same. Only you will be able to know if this a field that you have enough passion and drive to sustain you in order to attain the necessary skills to excel as an anesthesia provider in today’s world.
Here are a few comments from two “Shadow Experiences”. What will yours be?
My observation experience was pivotal in understanding the dynamic practice of a CRNA and increased that a fire in my belly pursuit for this field of nursing. The moment I met Kari Cole, I was greeted with warmth and welcomed to the new state of the art LAC + USC Medical Center facility. I met various individuals on my observation day such as the anesthesia attending Dr. Leipzig, and CRNAs Charlotte Garcia and David Godden. Everyone was extremely friendly and receptive to my presence in the OR department. The CRNAs that I met enjoyed teaching and it proved to be a great learning experience for me.
Through speaking with David, I learned about the goals of anesthesia and received a mini lesson on respiratory physiology. Thanks David for taking the time to teach and give advice to me. I spent the morning and afternoon shadowing Charlotte Garcia CRNA and gained further insight into the CRNA profession. She provided a holistic approach to the plan of care starting with a very thorough preoperative work up that included a review of history and physical, consents, labs, EKG, x-ray films, and assessment of the patient. CRNAs possess exceptional knowledge and astute skills which enables them to respond to the dynamic patient changes in the operating room.Â On this particular day, I saw those attributes come into play as the Charlotte demonstrated diligence with induction, intubation, and positioning of the patient. During surgery, she manipulated various medications and fluids to maintain hemodynamic stability and to ultimately achieve the goals of anesthesia.
I learned a plethora of new and interesting concepts from Charlotte such as MAC, calculating blood loss, and reversal agents. I also received advice about the educational rigors and expectations of the USC Program of Anesthesia. While in the OR, Kari and Charlotte taught me about anesthesia and the elderly, an approach that is unique because geriatric patients respond to anesthesia very differently than adult patients.Â I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to teach me about the CRNA profession. My shadowing experience was extremely positive and I hope to return to this facility for another observation day in the near future.
Thank you Mable. You were terrific and I am looking forward to seeing your application and encouraging you during the interview process. Mabel demonstrated the attributes that potential candidates need to succeed. Good luck and keep the fire burning.
Here is another letter I received and held back a couple of weeks trying to figure out what to do with it. Should I edit it a bit….Hmmmmm. In the end here it is – another example of work from a great candidate that idealizes so many of the great qualities of nurse anesthesia practice; attentiveness to detail, patience and sound judgment.Â Lisa I am looking forward to seeing you again and I know that you will do well what ever program you choose to join. The only reason I held back on posting your letter without editing is that it seemed a little too much about me which I do not want. So here it is.
It was a true pleasure meeting you, The Average Man, behind the making of a terrific website for people who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree in Nurse Anesthesia (NA). A few months ago I did a web search looking for sites that could answer some of my questions regarding the NA profession, without all the boring political information, and came across yours. When I arrived at LAC + USC for my shadowing experience and Mrs. Cole said I would be with you I was ecstatic, had goose bumps and was jumping for joy on the inside. I said to her David the one that developed the nurse anesthetist website. She simply said yes. I had the biggest smile on my face that I would like to think made the sun shine brighter that day.
I would encourage anyone who is thinking of going into an advanced degree of nursing to shadow a practitioner in their chosen field.
Personally, I have shadowed a few times which just reinforces my desire to become a CRNA. By far, shadowing at LAC + USC has been the most rewarding for me. Probably because they are a strong teaching and research institution. Along with their expertise staff.
As a seasoned critical care nurse I feel confident in the excellent care I provide. I enjoy and embrace learning and increasing my knowledge base because it allows me to better serve the patients I encounter. During my shadow experiences, I must admit, I am amazed at how little I really know. This in turn just gives me more motivation to continue my professional career growth along the nursing continuum. Although I know that CRNA school will be painstaking rigorous, I am eagerly awaiting the challenge. The coined term a fire in the belly is what I felt at the beginning of my journey. That burning feeling has now become an engulfed fire running through my body.
David, thank you for your guidance and all the wealth of information you had shared regarding the profession, preparing for it and becoming a CRNA. You patiently and thoroughly answered all my questions. In addition, I would like to thank your colleagues for being enthusiastic, warm and welcoming when I was introduced to them. All of them (including you) gave encouraging words and advice. I value and greatly appreciate the experience I had during my visit
There you have it. When will you call for a Shadow experience? You have to remember that only The Shadow Knows for sure. When you do interview for that coveted spot in an anesthesia program no matter where it is the one sure question that will be asked is if you have “Shadowed a nurse anesthetist and what did that experience teach you?” That is a guaranteed question and one you must be prepared to answer.
The next step is yours.