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Shadowing a CRNA

An important part of getting ready for your school interview is to shadow a CRNA. This is also the best way to truly learn what CRNAs actually do. Finding someone to shadow can be challenging at times, but its definitely important. You must have some shadowing experience to discuss during your interview. After all, how can you be sure this is what you want to do if you've never seen it done? Use your connections to find a good CRNA to shadow. Build a relationship with the CRNAs dropping their patients off in your ICU, maybe you know friends that are CRNAs. Do whatever it takes to get a good shadow experience so that you can be sure this is really for you. I suggest shadowing in the morning so that you get a feel for the beginning of the day in the OR. This can often be the busiest part of the day, which translates to a great learning and observing experience.

When in the OR remember to be respectful, ask prudent questions when warranted, be mindful of HIPPA rules and make a good impression. DO NOT BE LATE to your shadow day. ORs are a fluid and constantly changing work environment, your CRNAs will not wait for you to arrive to start their day. They are doing you a great favor by allowing you into their ORs, so be respectful of their time and show up early. If you are able to have more than one day of shadowing even better. If you can shadow more than just one CRNA even better. The CRNA you shadow might take a liking to you and agree to write you a letter of recommendation. Staying in touch can also prove useful down the line , in case you need any added assistance/ mentoring during school. For an added touch of class, send a thank you letter/ email once your shadowing days are over. Small gestures like this do not go unnoticed.

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