The student outreach
program was initiated in 1998 with Chris Stein as the organizer. It
evolved after much interest was displayed at the California Student Nurses
Association (CSNA) meeting when CANA set up a booth. Several nursing
students from around the state asked for more information and stated how
interested they would be to have a CRNA speak to their class. Most nursing
schools have no education about and very little exposure to the practice
of nurse anesthesia as an advanced nursing specialty. It was felt that
this would increase our exposure and educate one of our most important
groups, the student nurses. Each fall a letter is sent to all 90+ nursing
schools in the state. This includes 23 Baccalaureate Degree programs and
70 Associate Degree programs. The interested schools (usually the
President of the CSNA) respond by phone or email and give and approximate
date, time and number of students who will attend. I then contact CRNAs
who live and work in the area of the school and find an interested
presenter. The exact date and time is then agreed upon between the
presenting CRNA and the school. CANA then sends out a packet to the
presenter which includes several articles on the practice of nurse
anesthesia, information on the nurse anesthesia schools in the state and a
video to show to the nursing students.
The entire presentation is usually limited to 45-60 minutes and includes the presenter's history of how they became involved in the practice of nurse anesthesia, a description of what we do as CRNAs, the video and some time for questions. Most describe the experience as rewarding and non-stressful. I am always looking for interested anesthetists who want to give a small amount of time back to their profession.
Joe Mackley, Chair, Southen California
Pat Weott, Northern
Ellen Roth, CRNA, MSN was invited by the school outreach program to present careers in Nurse Anesthesia. She introduced approximately 10 nursing students from College of the Desert to the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) career field on November 2, 2001 at Palm Desert. The slide presentation included information on the history of CRNAs, practice roles, types of working environments, and basic requirements for acceptance into anesthesia schools. A 15-minute video was presented including CRNAs within their practice environments. A 30-minute enthusiastic question and answer period followed the formal presentation discussing the roles of the CRNA and numerous related topics.
"I found the experience very gratifying and was encouraged to see the eager faces asking multiple questions in my career field", said Ellen, "I would like to encourage other CRNAs to get involved with the school outreach program. It provides another avenue for us to educate the public as well as fledgling members within our own profession about our vocation. The school outreach program is one small way for us to give back to our profession and I would like to encourage other CRNAs to get involved with the program. You will walk away from the presentation knowing you have made a contribution to your profession and will be looking forward to the next opportunity".