Becoming a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is not for the faint of heart. A lot of work goes into completing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. And even after completing one’s education, there is the task of finding that first job that will launch the new professional into his or her career.
CRNA jobs do not get a lot of play in the press. It is not that there is anything wrong with such jobs, it is just that there are plenty of things to talk about with doctors and nurses. One of the unintended consequences of the lack of exposure is that new, job hunting CRNAs do not necessarily know what they are getting themselves into.
Health Jobs Nationwide, a nationally known medical professionals job board, says there are five things every new CRNA should know at the start of a job search:
1. Your First Won’t Be Your Last
Every new CRNA should understand that his first job is not going to be his last job. A typical CRNA will hold a number of different positions throughout the course of his career. It’s normal. Therefore, there should not be such an emphasis on finding the ‘perfect job’ the first time around. It generally takes medical professionals several years and multiple jobs to find anything close to being what he or she wants.
2. You Can’t Have It All
Next up, it is unrealistic for a CRNA to expect he/she can have it all. Consider three of the things that seem most important to CRNAs:
- Scope of practice
- Professional development
CRNA jobs offering all three in abundance are rare. For example, rural opportunities often pay well and offer a great scope of practice. They lack in professional development opportunities. A major city hospital might offer good money and plenty of professional development, but the scope of practice is limited.
3. Team Play Is Priceless
If there is one thing nearly all employers expect from their CRNAs, it is the ability to work as part of a team. Anesthesiology is, by its nature, a team sport. CRNAs have to be able to work seamlessly with supervising physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other clinicians. They cannot be lone rangers with invincible attitudes.
New CRNAs should go into the job hunt understanding that team play is priceless. They should expect probing questions to that effect during interviews.
4. Recruiters Can Be a Big Help
There are times when a new CRNA might be afraid to enlist the help of recruiter for lack of experience. As the thinking goes, the lack of experience will force the recruiter to offer only those bottom-of-the-barrel jobs no one else wants. Fortunately, such assumptions are untrue.
The best recruiters are particularly good at what they do. They know how to match job candidates with available jobs. Moreover, they have incentive to make the best matches whenever possible. New CRNAs should not be afraid to turn to recruiters for help finding that first job.
5. Different Jobs Offer Different Environments
Finally, there is no one-size-fits-all CRNA job. Different jobs offer different work environments that new professionals have to consider. What does that mean practically? It means considering what type of environment the new CRNA would be most comfortable working in, then pursuing opportunities accordingly.
CRNA jobs are out there to be had. Thanks to a general shortage of medical personnel across the board, new CRNAs should have no trouble landing a first job. As long as they go into it with the right mindset, that first job could be the start of a very rewarding career.