CRNA Certification Exam Review

In the surgical field, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is vital to a successful surgery. A CRNA is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with a graduate-level education and certified by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). They usually have practiced critical care for one year prior.

Since a CRNA is so educated in the field, when they have a position, it is unlikely they will be replaced by anesthesiologists. Every two years, a CRNA must become recertified, and they require continual education credits depending on the state.

Many nurses that have CRNA certification used the book Anesthesia Secrets by Duke. It provides straight forward Q&A formatting with reviews of a lot of topics. It covers equipment, daily essential information, pharmacology, disorders, and more.

Another book recommended by CRNAs is Anesthesiology Review by Faust. It has a comprehensive coverage of all the necessary topics, and has an easy to use format. It is in-depth in areas required, and is great for a CRNA foundation and review.

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Pre-CRNA Interview Exam

Before entering the CRNA program at school, you should be prepared to answer a list of questions. Here is one nurse’ tips from a CRNA interview:

“I have a study guide that I found pretty handy to use for CRNA interviews. Here are a few questions that were asked at the 3 interviews i attended.

-Describe dif. b/t 1st, 2nd degreee type 1 and 2 and 3rd degreee hrt blcks.
-Which ones will atropine work on
-Know strips – afib, v tach/fib blcks and treatments.
-Interpret ABG and give treatment eg. CO2 55, PH 7.20, Po2 wnl, HCO3 wnl, bicarb wnl or slightly elevated so increase rate to 12 from 10 ect.
-Know what your vasoactive drips, what they do, how they work, side effects, when to use.
-know acls protocols ect.
-Formula for SVR i missed this one
-Do you use atropine on pt with hrt Transplant – no b/c hrt denervated so pace, then why can HR increase with exersize – epi released from adrenal medulla not dependent on nerves.

others:
-Why CRNA, why get out of bedside nursing- 2 words Poo poo LOL
-what can you bring to the table to improve program, profession ect.
-How your going to pay for school – loans ect.
-Be honest: They may ask explain a mistake you once made and what you learned from it.
-Last time you had confrontation with MD and how you smoothed it over
-What you do for fun or to relieve stress, what are your hobbies

other tips that will impress interview board.

-be farmiliar with current CRNA/MDA/AA political issues, search on this board, AANA.com or studentdoctor.net Anesthesia forum, at least bring your farmiliararity with this up, they all ate this up
-Talk about any sedation/paralytics/pain med infusions you use in ICU eg. we may use nimbex, fent, ativan drips to sedate, talk about this but know it well because they will pimp you off of this.
-Talk up your experience as much as possible even if it’s not the best.
– If you havent taken CCRN register for exam now and tell them you will take it asap when get paper work back, its not a bad test if you study.
-Talk about any epidural experience you have in ICU if any, we use them for thoracotomys and AAA’s/Taaa’s and titrate them to SE /pain mgmt, they will like that you have used them if you have
-My grades were not great before nursing school but improved once in nursing school so you may have to explain

The last and most important thing is be very CONFIDENT. CONFIDENCE i believe is the key. Yes sir/mam if the people are way older than you as in my case. Always Eye contact, firm hand shake, thank you at end.

– If you dont know the answere to a clinical question just say I’m not sure, and maybe say if you are farmiliar with it but not sure exact answer, thats what they want you to say. They dont want you to guess or BS.

– of course you will be nervous but try to chill, be as prepared as possible and that will decrease your nervousness

-have somewhat of an opening statment prepared talking up your strengths such as grades, GRE, clinical exp, professional org, or extra curriculars you were involved in in past.

-have a list of questions to ask them such as:

Support for students?
Clinical Sites?
Minimun or average Epidurals, aline, Cent line placements by last grad class?
Pass rates on cert exam?
Artrition rates?
SIM labs?
Average # OR hours last grad classes had?
Average # peds/thoracic cases grad classes had?
Competition with residents or AA students for cases if affilated with other programs?”