Life as an SRNA


Life as an SRNA is about being humble, gracious, and learning how to eat shit. You’re going to learn how to be submissive and you’re going to learn how to say thank you even if your preceptor makes a questionable clinical judgment.

However, there is one piece of wisdom to be garnered from this experience and that is, anesthesia is about being a team player. You have to learn how to be a people person and if you don’t, let me be the first to tell you that your life, whether an SRNA or CRNA, will be difficult.

Remember that your work doesn’t exist in a vacuum. You’re here to take care of a person and that requires a lot of manpower and a lot of coordination amongst different teams of individuals. The quicker you understand this tidbit, the quicker you begin to understand the need to learn how to play nice with others. Sure, you can be that quiet brooding curmudgeon behind the drapes, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by not being more ebullient and garrulous.

This is the dirty secret in anesthesia and I’ll probably be crucified for saying this and while I say this in jest, there IS some truth to this, but the secret is:

If you come across as a likable personality, as someone who doesn’t get flustered and as a person that everyone likes, you’ll go very far in developing allies to help you even if your clinical skills may be suspect. However, if you’re a likable person AND you have strong clinical skills, you’re golden. EVERYONE WILL LOVE YOU.

Remember, the common denominator here is how you approach your work whether as a student or one day, as a working professional. If you’re very personable, you’re going to do fine regardless of your clinical skill set. Keep that in mind while you’re going through school and eventually, working as a CRNA.

Don’t be a sourpuss.

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