What is Perianesthesia Nursing?
A Perianesthesia nurse (also known as a recovery room nurse) is essentially a nurse that is there to ensure that patients recover well from anesthesia. They are in the recovery room ready to handle any reactions that a patient may have, although it is not as common as you may think to see a patient who is confused or who reacts badly to the anesthesia. Because anesthesia can be dangerous to certain patient populations, such as children and the elderly, a trained nurse is required to ensure that recovery occurs properly. In addition to this Perianesthesia nurses also consult with patients before they go in for their surgery, ensuring that the patient understands what is about to happen. You will also be required to consult with the patient after surgery and give him or her tips on how to continue their recovery at home.
Nature Of The Work/duties
In Perianesthesia nursing there are a number of job roles that you will be required to fulfill on a daily basis:
- Recovery Room care: One of your primary roles as a Perianesthesia nurse is to take care of patients when they come out of the operating room.
- Prepare patients for surgery: This includes physically ensuring that they are ready for surgery as well as ensuring that they are emotionally prepared.
- Give patients recovery tips for home.
The top places for Perianesthesia nurses to be employed are:
- Ambulatory surgical units
- Physicians’ offices
Hospitals are the settings for surgical operations, which means that this is one of the more common places to find a Perianesthesia nurse. This is where you are more likely to find yourself employed: in the operating room and the recovery room of a hospital. In addition there are cases where patients require anesthesia while being transported in an emergency medical care vehicle. This is a more intensive and stressful job, but it can also be more rewarding as well as, in some cases, exciting. Mild anesthesia is sometimes given in doctor’s or dentist’s offices under certain circumstances. This tends to be the least stressful area of Perianesthesia nursing to be employed in.
Perianesthesia Nursing Requirements
To become a Perianesthesia nurse you need to meet the following requirements:
- You must have an RN degree of some kind. The minimum degree is an associate’s degree, but a master’s degree will be more effective at helping you get employment. In order to enter an RN program you will have to be at least 18 years old as well hold a high school diploma or a GED.
- When doing your undergraduate training try to focus on anesthesia care.
- Once you have completed your degree program it is time for you to write the NCLEX-RN examination that will qualify you to be an RN.
- Get 1800 hours of experience in Perianesthesia care.
Once you have met all of these requirements you will be able to apply for certification as a Perianesthesia nurse.
There are subtle differences between the various nursing career options and specialties that are open to you. Consequently they attract subtly different people. The personality that you have is a major indicator of which area of nursing you are likely to specialize in. The following are necessary personality traits for being a Perianesthesia nurse. If you have all or most of these traits, or if you think you can learn them, this is the line of work for you:
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be a quick thinker
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be able to stay calm in emergencies
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be professional
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be organized
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be able to prioritize issues with patients
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be cheerful
- A Perianesthesia nurse should be personable
In order to become a Perianesthesia nurse you have to have an RN qualification. In addition you need to get special certification. This can be done by completing one of the following certification programs:
- The Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN®) program
- The Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA®) program
These certification exams are essential educational requirements for anyone who wants to be a Perianesthesia nurse. This is because anesthesia can be dangerous and the use of it needs to be carefully controlled and monitored in order to protect the public as well as to protect the health care industry itself. To find out more about these certification programs you should visit the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification at www.cpancapa.org. All of the information you need in order to specialize in this area is on this website.
There are two certification programs that you can take in order to become a Perianesthesia nurse. These are the Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN®) and the Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA®) programs. To be certified or licensed you must have the following:
- A current unrestricted Registered Nurse license.
- A minimum of 1,800 hours of direct Perianesthesia clinical experience as a Registered Nurse during the two (2) years prior to application.
- Submission of a complete, online examination application.
- Successful completion of the CPAN and/or CAPA certification examination.
To specialize as a Perianesthesia nurse these are the basic requirements. It may take a while to become licensed in this specialty, but the path to success is worth it as you will have higher standing in the health care industry.
How To Become A Perianesthesia Nurse
Training, Advancement And Other Qualifications
The steps for becoming a Perianesthesia nurse are simple: Step one is to get your Nursing Diploma, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and become an RN. If possible you should choose courses that relate to anesthesia care or Perianesthesia care. Then you need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination, or the NCLEX-RN exam. This will allow you to start working as a registered nurse. You should get 1,800 hours of experience in Perianesthesia before applying to take your certification exam through the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing. The last step is to become certified as a Perianesthesia nurse. This will take a fair amount of time as you will need to devote many hours to your studies and many years to earning your degrees.
Source An Accredited Education Program
The program that you enroll in to be a Perianesthesia nurse must be accredited. If it is not accredited:
- You will waste your time: you will have to complete another program that is accredited from scratch which will double the time that you spend studying.
- You will waste your money: this is because you will effectively be paying for two programs instead of one.
The best place to look for an accredited Perianesthesia nurse program is on the website of your state board of nursing. This is a resource that you can be guaranteed will provide you with the best and most reliable information possible about how to go about earning your nurse anesthetist qualification in your particular state. The school itself should also be open about this information.
Earn Your Associate’s Degree
Earning your associate’s degree in nursing is one of the options open to you when it comes to getting your Perianesthesia nursing qualification. Although this degree is sufficient in terms of allowing you to go to become a Perianesthesia nurse, you will have better luck being employed n a job where you can get the experience you need for certification if you have a bachelors degree in nursing. Other degrees that are available to you are a master’s degree and a doctorate degree. The higher the level of your degree the more seriously your qualification will be taken and the better your resume will look when you are searching for a job in this particular nursing specialty. However the more advanced the degree the more time it will take for you to complete it, so you will need to assess whether or not you can devote the time required.
Obtain Your Licensure
To become certified as a Perianesthesia nurse you will need to get one of these two following qualifications:
- The Certified Post Anesthesia Nurse (CPAN), or
- The Certified Ambulatory Perianesthesia Nurse (CAPA)
Both of these require you to write an exam in order to pass. Often nurses find that they are able to pass the exam simply based on the mandatory clinical experience that they have achieved. However if you feel that you need some extra guidance in order to get through the examination, there are certification classes available. These can be completed:
- Online, or
- In a face to face situation at a community college or nursing institute
In short there is no licensure for this specialty, in the strictest sense of the word, but there is mandatory certification that you will have to achieve.
Online/Distance Education Programs
Part of maintaining your qualification as a Perianesthesia nurse is by doing regular continuing education courses to keep your knowledge up to date. These courses can be done online through the hospital that you work for. If you are unemployed, or if your hospital does not provide courses such as these, you will have to check with your state board of nursing for additional opportunities for online continuing education. The actual qualification itself can also be trained for online in that you can research information that will help you pass the certification examination. However there is no way in which you will ever be able to complete the relevant clinical hours online, so be sure to avoid any online schools claiming that you can become a Perianesthesia nurse entirely online with no other effort needed.
The job outlook for Perianesthesia nurses is good. According to www.discovernursing.com the following facts can be observed:
- There will be 48% more jobs in physicians’ offices from 2008-2018.
- Advancing medical technology means a higher demand for Perianesthesia nurses.
- More illnesses and injuries are able to be treated surgically, also creating an increase in demand for Perianesthesia nurses.
The medical industry in general is expanding at a rate that is faster than average, and certainly faster than most other industries in these economically challenging times. A secure career in nursing will guarantee your job security as there will always be a demand for nursing professionals of one kind or another. In fact by 2020, the U.S. will face a shortage of 800,000 nurses, so your skills will be in high demand at this time.
A Perianesthesia nurse can expect to earn something in the region of $49,000 to $87,000. The range is quite wide and that is mostly due to the fact that different states pay different rates. Even within each state there tend to be differing salary expectations for different cities. However, even at the lower end of the range, the earnings that you will get are not bad at all. There are a number of factors that tend to influence the salary that you will earn, including:
- The number of certifications and trainings you’ve acquired
- The educational background you possess
- The number of years of experience you have in the industry
- The location of your facility of employment
This is a very lucrative nursing specialty that has a lot of room for growth, for example you can go on to become a nurse anesthetist. Nurse anesthetists often work independently and without any supervision form a doctor at all. This is also a feasible option for you to strive towards in your nursing career. Although the salaries can vary, even the lower end of the range is not bad for a Perianesthesia nurse. with a qualification of this kind you will have more job opportunities as you will not only be qualified to work as an RN, but you will also be eligible for jobs that have a focus on Perianesthesia care.