There are people floating around EVERYWHERE nowadays, on this site and in person, saying, "Oh, I am going to be a CRNA"...."Oh, I want to be a CRNA"....."Oh, my daughter is going to CRNA but right now she's still at the junior college taking prereqs for RN school"

SERIOUSLY. School is hard. It is a HUUUUUGE sacrifice of ALL involved (your family, your kids, your dogs). You won't get to go to fun events (weddings, funerals, graduations, first days of school) because you're on call, your studying, you have finals, you have pink-eye from your nasty pediatric rotation, etc etc.

I get so irritated with people saying they're gonna go to school just like they're gonna bake some brownies. It's NOT THE SAME THING!

Do you even KNOW what you're getting into? I can tell you: No you do NOT. You have no idea. Even if you think you know, you don't. It's absolutely draining. It sucks the life out of you, even on a good day.

Do you even know what anesthesia is? You think one year of critical care experience is going to make you a competitive applicant? Have you shadowed a CRNA? Have you even been inside a hospital before?

If it was easy, everyone would do it. And not everyone is good at it. Some people I know suck at it. So even if you can get into school, you might suck at your job. And if you suck at your job, you pretty much suck at life, because most of your life is spent at your job.

The money aspect?! OHHHHH go ahead and get me started. "Yes, I'm going to be a CRNA when I graduate" "OH WOW! They make a LOT of money! You'll be rich!" Ahem. Yes, about me being rich. Besides the fact that I have an ass-ton of loans to pay back, do you realize that EVERYONE stops what they're doing when the crap hits the fan, and they look at YOU to solve the problem?! Such as in the disastrous code I was in today when an ER resident who'd attempted intubation 5+ times would NOT put down her pride and went ahead and handed the CRNA and myself a bloodied traumatic airway on a patient with HLHS to begin with. Or what about having an add-on case yesterday with Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase deficiency and you haven't had time to research it? Oh, but make sure not to give nitrous! Lest you kill them! The buck stops with YOU buckaroo. If you can't get the situation under control, in a code or in the OR, then you get an EPIC FAIL. And patients will die if you screw up. So yes, I might make money after this slave-labor portion of my life is over, but some days I won't make ENOUGH.

It's not easy people. You work long, hard hours, you get treated like crap, you come home and kick your dog, your dog gets pissed at you.

CRNAs tell me, "oh, it will be worth it, just keep going". But some days I REALLY wonder if it will be. With the way the economy is, it's friggin hard to find a job, the jobs dont pay what they used to, the work is stressful. How about becoming a Nurse Manager on the telemetry unit? That sounds like a good alternative. You get to wear a white jacket, take leisurely strolls to the coffee cart and order chinese food for lunch. Hour lunch minimum. No bodily fluids.

So yes, am I happy I went to school? Yes. Thanks for asking. HOWEVER, think LONG AND HARD before you decide it's what you want to do. I've got 3 months and 22 little days remaining, and I still haven't passed the almighty hurdle of taking boards. So it's 30 months of pain. Kind of like prison I guess, especially if you have to sleep in call rooms.

That's all. This has been a public service announcement.