The CRNA program requires students to train on-site at a hospital for 16 months. Training sites are vital and TCU has found affiliations with ease, said Kay Sanders, director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia.
“We are actively seeking clinical sites through networking and mutual acquaintances,” Sanders said. “We look at hospitals for our students to work at whose anesthesiologists perform a variety of cases.”
Tim Gollaher, associate CRNA director said he hopes that the 63 students, the first group of the CRNA program to complete the 40 hours of graduate work at TCU, will be trained in a variety of ways at these carefully chosen hospitals.
Students will work with certified registered nurse anesthetists under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist. Gollaher said he hopes students will gain adequate hands-on experience.
“The adjunct clinical faculty, the anesthesiologist and nurses, will train students with a variety of cases so students have a good case mix,” Gollaher said.
Students will administer general and regional anesthesia in different medical cases. Variety is essential in training, which is why the university needs to be joined with hospitals whose anesthetists work on a variety of cases, Sanders said.
“We choose hospitals with specific criteria because our graduates need to have an excellent backing,” Sanders said. “If you were having this done, you would want your anesthetist to perform perfectly.”
Program graduates are awarded the Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia and become eligible to take the national certifying exam to become a nurse anesthetist.
“The nursing program is able to improve because we are a well-oiled machine here,” Gollaher said. “We have common goals and values in our teaching — we want to fully prepare our students.”