Hi everyone -

I've seen it written time and time again on this board - something along the lines of:

Before applying to nurse anesthesia school, CRNA hopefuls ought to spend some time in a high-acuity ICU and become comfortable with making independent decisions.

I'm 122 days out from BSN graduation.... not that I'm counting or anything. I'm involved in an externship in an ICU unit that allows me to function in the capacity of an RN under my preceptor's license. I'm allowed to manage my patient's care with a good amount of autonomy.

I think it's wise for me to begin seeking out opportunities that will allow me to hone my skill at making accurate and independent decisions (although I would certainly have to run it by my preceptor first).

My question is... with all the orders, restrictions, and parameters associated with critical patient care - where is there room for me (or nurses in general) to make independent decisions? Please provide me with an example or two. Also, perhaps you can give me some ideas on what sort of opportunities/patient pathologies I may want to target for the greatest learning experience.

As always, thanks for your suggestions.