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Nurse Anesthetist Job Description Information

written by: Leigh A. Zaykoski•edited by: Diana Cooper•updated: 5/4/2010

Nurse anesthetists are an important part of the medical care team in an operative setting. Find out how to become a nurse anesthetist and what the duties of nurse anesthetist professionals are as outlined in a basic nurse anesthetist job description.

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    With a high average salary, interesting responsibilities, and the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients who are undergoing surgical procedures, many people are wondering how to become a nurse anesthetist and take advantage of these benefits. Before you can decide if the duties of nurse anesthetist professionals match your skills and career goals, you'll need to understand what a nurse anesthetist does, where these professionals work, and how much you can expect to make. Keep reading about the nurse anesthetist job description to see if this is the right career for you.

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    Duties of Nurse Anesthetist Professionals

    Nurse anesthetists perform much of the work that anesthesiologists traditionally perform. Duties of nurse anesthetist professionals include performing pre-operative patient assessments, educating patients about the effects of anesthesia, administering anesthetics, maintaining appropriate levels of anesthesia during surgery, and checking on patients after they have been anesthetized. Because nurse anesthetists work with many different types of patients, there is a lot of variety on the job.

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    Nurse Anesthetist Job Description Requirements

    When you are researching how to become a nurse anesthetist, you will find that there are some basic education and experience requirements. In order to become a nurse anesthetist, you will need to have a BSN degree and have the designation of registered nurse. Most programs require a minimum of one year of acute nursing experience, but some programs require as many as thre years of experience. These programs typically take 24 to 36 months to complete, after which you will have earned a master's degree. You are then eligible to sit for national certification, which makes you qualified to practice as a nurse anesthetist in all 50 states.

    Once you have the education and certification you need to become a nurse anesthetist, you will be qualified to work in a number of settings. Nurse anesthetists can work in operating rooms, obstetrical suites, same day surgery centers, and pain clinics. Nurse anesthetists can provide anesthesia for lengthy surgical procedures or short stay procedures such as laparoscopies and tonsillectomies.

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    Nurse Anesthetist Salary

    The average salary of a nurse anesthetist in 2006 was $165,000. This is an excellent salary, but it is important to note that medical malpractice insurance premiums for anesthesia professionals are very high. This salary reflects these high premiums and the risks associated with administering anesthetics to patients in surgical and pain management settings.