In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

201 Careers in NursingBASIC DESCRIPTION

A cardiothoracic nurse anesthetist works in collaboration with anesthesiologists to provide anesthesia care to patients undergoing heart transplants, ventricular remodeling, and cardiothoracic operations.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Registered nurse preparation and certification as certified registered nurse anesthetist are required; Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certifications are also required; experience in acute or emergency care is required as a prerequisite to most positions; certification is offered by the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Excellent assessment skills and advance knowledge in cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hemodynamic physiology, management, and pharmacology
  • Ability to work in a high-stress environment that requires quick decision making
  • Strong computer and documentation skills and knowledge of electronic health record

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (http://www.aana.com/)
  • International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (http://ifna-int. org/ifna/news.php)
  • National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (http://www.nbcrna.com/)

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