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CRNA S2 85 | Struggles In CRNA School

It’s okay if you are terrified as you embark on your CRNA journey. As Nurse Anesthesia Residents, we fear we might not handle the clinical challenge and academic rigor of CRNA School. In this episode, Jenny Finnell shares her experience and what she struggled with most in CRNA school. She hit her max burnout a year into her school, and you will probably, too, if you have a poor mindset. Jenny talks about her struggles with mental wellness, especially as she coped with the academic and clinical demands. She then lets us in on how she recognized it when it showed and addressed it. Tune in to this episode and find out how Jenny overcame the stresses from CRNA school and pivoted towards success!

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What Did I Struggle With The Most In CRNA School?

What did I struggle with the most in CRNA school? You may think it’s Chemistry or Physics, but you may be surprised. Let’s go ahead and get to the episode.

I’m going to share with you guys what I struggled with the most during CRNA school. Many of you are probably embarking on your CRNA journey and you’re probably terrified of the academic, rigorous, and clinical challenges of walking into the unknown. Don’t get me wrong. All of those things can be very stressful, new, and unfamiliar, but by far, what I struggled with the most in CRNA school was my mindset and my mental wellness. I’d love to say I was alone in this because I don’t wish it upon anyone.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s true. A lot of people entering CRNA school probably underestimate where they’re at from a mental standpoint when they enter their program. I want to share my background. It’s equally a big, passion point of mine now, and something that I’ve had to pull from on multiple occasions in my own personal life that I now get to share with our CRNA School Pred Academy students.

Poor Time Management Affects Mental Wellbeing

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty as far as ways I struggled in CRNA school. One of the big ones was time management. The reason why I’m bringing up time management and not going right into the mindset is that poor time management can affect your mental well-being. That may or may not surprise you. The reason why I think that it affected my own mental wellness is that I wasn’t efficient with my time and it led me to the breaking point of stress more often.

I equally think that the longer you’re out of a full-time school position, the harder it can be to get back into full-time school mode again. I was out for three years prior to going back to CRNA school. While I’m not discouraging those of you who’ve been out of school for twenty-plus years, it is completely manageable, but it’s different. The way I can frame it is when my parents watch our grandkids. They’ve raised two children. We’re both adults, my sister and me. There have been times we’ve gone on a family vacation and I’ve asked my parents to watch our like eighteen-month-olds who are dangerous climbing stairs and who can probably take a knife and stab their eye out.

I say, “Watch them,” thinking they have to watch them. I’m like, “You can’t take your eye off of them.” I leave the room for a minute to get a shower and come back. I’m like, “Where are they?” “I don’t know where they’re at.” Here they are climbing up and down the stairs. You think, “You should know better. You’ve been parents.” They’ve been out of it for a long enough period of time that they forgot that they couldn’t take their eye off of a child that age.

Poor time management can really affect your mental well-being. Click To Tweet

It gives you some perspective as far as when you’re out of a full-time school role and you go back to a full-time education role. It’s different as far as how you spend your time. It’s crazy how quickly you forget what your priorities need to be. I remember thinking when I started CRNA school, “This is my full-time job.” I quit my full-time job as a medical ICU nurse to go back to school full-time. The reality is, and I hate to break this to you, but it’s more than a full-time job because it doesn’t stop after an eight-hour day.

You’re in it 24 hours, 7 days a week. You’ll be in CRNA school for three years. It’s not that you’re working every single waking hour of your life, but it’s always on your mind. Another way to put it into perspective is when I worked a shift as a medical ICU nurse. When I was off my shift, I was off my shift. I clock out, “Bye. Peace out.” I didn’t think about work until I had to be back the next day. I got to check out mentally from being at work, where when you’re in CRNA school, your class is over and you get to go home, but you take some of that home with you where you’re like, “This project, I’ve got to do this.” You end up having to create an agenda. You have to prioritize.

When you’re just working full time, you don’t have to prioritize. You might have to play with your schedule a little bit to get the vacation you want off, the time you want off, or whatever you’re doing that’s enjoyable. When you’re in CRNA school, you’re trying to manage every single waking moment, so you can be efficient with your study skills. You can get to the tasks that you have to get done so you can pass the course. It becomes a little bit more challenging and different than what you’re used to. I struggled with that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not someone who was a procrastinator. In fact, that causes more anxiety for me.

Challenges Of Performance Pressure

I tend to be someone who always gets things done ahead of time. I can’t stand procrastination. I’m hardwired to care too much. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t care. Thank goodness I have my type B husband because I’m too type A. I need him to chill me out a little bit sometimes. You’ve got to have a balance. If you are type B, more power to you. You’ll make great a CRNA because you’re chill and laid back. I love that. You’re like a breath of fresh air, but that being said, the vast majority of you are probably also Type A, which equally makes you hardwired to have performance pressure. This is where I want to get into this show more deeply, this performance pressure.

I succumb to this. It led me down an ugly path. It affected me both mentally and physically. I like to shed light on this topic. It’s something that is not spoken about enough. I do think a lot of students struggle with anxiety and depression during CRNA school and they don’t talk about it for whatever reason, myself included. I shared this with my husband. He knew I suffered panic attacks, but I don’t know how much of my close school friends knew. They knew I had sleeping issues; we would joke about my issues taking ambien because I was that crazy person who would wake up, eat a whole bag of candy, and go back to bed.

CRNA S2 85 | Struggles In CRNA School
Struggles In CRNA School: Being a CRNA is more than a full-time job because it doesn’t really stop after an eight-hour day.

Some of my classmates probably knew I was having issues, but we didn’t get into the dark side of it. It was more lighthearted, “I’m crazy because I can’t sleep at night.” We would share, but it wasn’t like I got into it. I didn’t open up about my feelings around how I was feeling, because I felt vulnerable and honestly scared to share that side of what I was dealing with. I want to enter this topic with compassion and heart that if you are suffering, I’m sorry that you are, but I’m here to try to help you.

I want you to know that it’s okay, and you’re going to be okay. The sooner you can recognize these signs that you’re struggling and full on, fully face & address it, the better off you’re going to be and the more able you’re going to be able to get through it. CRNA school challenges you in a lot of ways that you’ve never been challenged, which is a good thing. Challenges can be a good thing. It helps you grow both as a person academically, professionally, and skill-wise. It helps you pull through that with that grit. It helps you build grit.

CRNA school is a lot of growth. You don’t realize when it’s happening because it feels slow and painful at times. When you reflect back on it in years to come, you’re going to look back and say, “That was probably the most growth I’ve experienced in that short period of time.” It was one of the most growth points in my own personal life, still to this day; I have had several points in my life up until this point that I’ve experienced a lot of personal growth. The first that challenged me was entering college, being on my own, and figuring out how to study because I didn’t do well during my freshman year in college. I remember feeling, “This is a test. I have got to figure this out.” That was the first personal growth experience I experienced that challenged me to get a good mental mindset.

The stress of working in the medical ICU was the second one where I battled depression, working in the medical ICU, dealing with death and suffering all around me. It wasn’t for me. I struggled with that. Number 3 was grad school. Number 4 was having children. Number 5 was starting CRNA School Prep Academy. It was becoming an entrepreneur, which I had no intention of doing, but I love it.

It was a blessing in disguise. It has brought me to face some more mental challenges and helped me work on them. I see a challenge in your life as a period of massive personal growth. This is going to be one of them. That’s something to be incredibly proud of and excited about. When you’re in the throes of it, you’re like, “It’s painful.” That’s the way it is. Personal growth can hurt. You shouldn’t shy away from it though, because you will grow so much and reap the rewards down the road.

The sooner you recognize signs that you're struggling and address it, the better off you will be. Click To Tweet

Let’s get into what happened to me and some things that I feel like I could have done differently that would have changed my experience and helped me. About one year into school was probably when I hit my max burnout point. I only went to school for 28 months. You’re going to be in school for 36 months. I still think it’s going to hit for you at that year mark where you’re going to be like, “I hit a brick wall.”

In the beginning, I feel like you can get that excitement like, “This is new. It is exciting. I did this. I’m becoming a CRNA.” You can ride on that for quite some time, but then right around that year mark, especially if you do not have the best mindset and you’re letting your performance pressure get to you, you can succumb to burnout. It leads to a lack of motivation and desire.

One of the things that I’ve shared before that I’ve leaned on is framing my acceptance letter. I put it on my desk. When I would have these bad days or days where I felt like, “How am I going to keep doing this? How can I keep going?” I would look at that and say, “I earned this. I deserve to be here. I’m going to show up for myself because I want to be here. I want to become a CRNA. I’m not going to quit. I’m going to keep going. I’m going to figure this out.” That helped.

I let it affect me so much that I started having personal physical side effects. I developed anxiety. I’d already suffered from anxiety prior to starting CRNA school but I started having panic attacks again. I had insomnia issues. I had stomach ulcers where I was taking Prilosec around the clock and TUMS because Prilosec wasn’t enough. Those are the physical issues I suffered from during CRNA school. If I look back and reflect back on that experience, I can tell you right now that I have experienced an immense amount of stress. I don’t suffer from panic attacks. I don’t have insomnia.

While I can’t say I have everything figured out, I am still trying to figure out my own life of what I’m doing. I still struggle, but I equally know what I’ve done differently. I’ve addressed inwardly, which they did not do in grad school. I addressed outwardly. I will explain what I mean by that. When you look for outward things to make you who you are, you will always be left feeling that you’re falling short. Why? It’s because you’re always trying to do more. You never feel satisfied with what you’ve done because there’s a constant desire to keep getting more confirmation outwardly that you are enough and that you’ve done well. It’s like this desire that never ends.

CRNA S2 85 | Struggles In CRNA School
Struggles In CRNA School: If you have to ask for help, to actually say, “I’m not okay,” it doesn’t mean you’re a weak person and that you’re not capable. It just means you are human and dealing with an immense amount of pressure and stress, and you need to address that.

It’s like this candle that won’t blow out. You’re like, “It won’t blow out. I can’t get it.” That’s what you create for yourself when you’re looking outwardly for recognition and a sense of accomplishment. I didn’t look inside. I didn’t feel proud of who I was on the inside. I ignored her and shut her up. I said, “Be quiet. You’re going to be tough. You’re going to tough it out. You’re going to do this. Stop complaining. Complainers or whiners are weak.” This is a toxic mindset. I didn’t recognize this until way later in my life. I don’t think I even started thinking like this until after we had kids. Starting the business was a lifesaver because it made me address these thoughts and feelings that were going through my mind.

Impostor syndrome is one of them too. I have suffered from impostor syndrome. I don’t every day now, but I still equally have to silence that voice because it came up for me. I had to address it. Back in CRNA school, I didn’t address it. I tried to quiet it down and say, “Keep going.” What happened is over time, that festered within me and it left me feeling empty. That was a problem. What I’m trying to share with you is to acknowledge your feelings. First and foremost, you are more than capable of being here and showing up and becoming a CRNA; don’t feel like you’re any less capable if you have to ask for help or say, “I’m not okay.”

Out Of Body Experience: Prioritizing Mental Wellness

You’d have to say, “I’m not okay.” It doesn’t mean you’re a weaker person or that you’re not capable. It means that you are human. You’re dealing with an immense amount of pressure and stress. You need to address that and why you are making that outward look make you feel like you’re any less. One of those things is where there is performance pressure. It’s weird because I thought it was coming on to me. I thought others were doing it to me, but you have to recognize that you’re doing it to yourself. I call it coming out of my body experience, where I zoom out and look down. It feels and sounds weird saying that, but I do routinely practice that now, especially when I’m in a situation where I’m feeling icky about myself for whatever reason that may be.

I try to come out of my body. I try to look at the situation like I’m floating above my body, which you probably think I’m crazy. This is just a technique I use. It allows me to put things in perspective. What it does is it allows me to see two sides and assess the Negative Jenny and the Positive Jenny. I always try to go to a place of gratitude, even in times of chaos or of like, “This stinks.” Sometimes the coins don’t toss in your favor. You’re like, “Why?”

Sometimes the why is not going to be a reason that is going to be fair. Life is not always going to be fair, and sometimes you have to deal with that. When that negative result makes you feel bad for who you are, you won’t be able to get through that in a way that makes you stronger. It’ll build fear, resentment, anger, anxiety, and depression. You have to address why you’re internalizing this in a way that’s negatively reflecting upon who you are as a person.

When you look for outward things to make you who you are, you will always be left falling short. Click To Tweet

You have to learn how to separate that out. It’s never going to go away because, in human nature, you have to rewire your brain. That takes time. It’s like when you start your gym routine, you go for like three weeks straight and you’re like, “I’m sore, but I still don’t see a six-pack yet. This is frustrating. I still have chicken wings on my arms. What’s going on?” It’s because of the mental mindset. It’s like exercise to your brain. You have to make a point to practice a good mental mindset and mental wellness every day. It’s a lifestyle. I promise you, if you do this, your life’s going to change for the better. People around you will notice. They’ll be impacted, too.

What I want to summarize this whole episode about is that you cannot neglect your feelings. You have to say, “This is real. It’s okay for me to feel this way. It doesn’t mean I’m any less of a person or that I’m not capable or that I’m weak. Let’s hash this out now and get to the bottom of this. Maybe I need to change my mindset around how I’m framing this in my mind, so I can look at it differently. I can look at it in a way that doesn’t make me feel bad about it.” Let’s also be realistic with ourselves. Why are we putting too much pressure on ourselves? It’s unnecessary.

Let me reiterate that. You’re always thinking others are judging you. It’s human nature that you think everyone’s staring at you. “They’re noticing what I’m doing.” I got purple hair. I could have been self-conscious about that like, “They’re going to see Jenny has purple hair now. She’s going crazy.” I could say, “If they noticed it, cool. I’m excited to have purple hair in the back of my hair.” If you assume that other people are noticing you, you’re probably assuming wrong. I bet that not very many of you noticed that until I pointed it out.

It goes to show that, as humans, we’re usually more inwardly focused. We think others may be judging us for something that we are subconsciously insecure about. We automatically think it stands up in a sore thumb because we are insecure about it. We think others will easily notice it. The reality is that’s not true. Most people are doing the same thing. They’re thinking about their own insecurities and how they are then worried about what other people are going to see about them.

No one’s thinking about you. They’re thinking about themselves. It sounds icky. I’m not saying your mom, dad, or significant other doesn’t think about you. I’m trying to put it in a big-picture perspective that most people are not walking around day to day, thinking about Sally or Joey from clinical. They’re thinking about themselves. They’re thinking, “What do I have to do? What do I have going on in my life?” They’re not thinking about so-and-so didn’t do as A-line the right way or cause arterial vasospasm. We don’t care.

CRNA S2 85 | Struggles In CRNA School
Struggles In CRNA School: Personal growth can hurt. You shouldn’t shy away from it because you will grow so much and reap the rewards down the road.

If you’re making yourself feel bad because you didn’t get an A-line, because you think you let down your preceptor, remind yourself that you are doing that to yourself. Your preceptor does not care. They’re not putting that pressure on you. You’re putting that pressure on you. I hope that is clarified. I don’t know if that made sense in my explanation, but that’s the clearest explanation I can come up with.

The sooner I started referring my mindset to think that way, to recognize when I’m doing that to myself, to not be shameful of things I want to do, to not assume that other people were going to judge me for having purple hair and being proud, excited for who I am and how I want to express myself or maybe I’m going to make mistakes and that’s okay.

It’s okay if I didn’t get an A-line. I’m going to get better at it over time. It’s reframing it to not feel like it’s any reflection on you. It goes to focusing inwardly on who you are, being proud of that, being okay with that, and also acknowledging your feelings. I feel like you probably didn’t expect this lecture to be all woo-woo about feelings and things like that. I truly think it’s an important topic. What I struggled with the most in CRNA school was my own mental wellness, performance pressure, burnout, insomnia, and panic attacks.

Academic And Clinical Challenges Of CRNA School

If I had to pick anything that I look back and think, “That made it hard,” the mental wellness aspect of my CRNA journey is what made my journey incredibly hard. The academics were challenging. The clinical things were new, scary, different, and challenging. Had I had a better mindset around all of that, I don’t think I would have felt as anxious or as scared as I felt if I wasn’t making it about me all the time. If I was like, “No one’s thinking about me. I’m thinking about me.” That’s essentially what it comes down to.

I also think the whole mentality of, “You have to be tough. You can’t complain.” I hate to say this, but I feel like I grew up in that culture and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think a lot of us have grown up with, “Don’t whine. Don’t complain.” I am a parent now. I feel like I’m doing it to my own children, even though I don’t even notice I’m doing it. It’s like one of those inherent things where when someone whines or complains, you say, “Stop whining.”

You can't neglect your feelings. Click To Tweet

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes that whining is inappropriate. I equally think like, as an adult, if you are struggling, if you have a whine or complain, get it out even if it’s to yourself. Speak about it and hash it out, even if it’s just yourself in the bathroom. Speak about why you’re feeling this way and get to the bottom of that because if you don’t, it will fester. The added stress in CRNA school is what allows those things to fester.

You’re probably wondering, “This is all insightful. What did you struggle with outside of that in CRNA school?” I know there are some of you reading that are like, “I want to know, is there a hard subject or topic that you struggled with?” I don’t want to disappoint. I’m going to go ahead and share that with you now. I should give you guys a few things that I remember struggling with in CRNA school concept-wise, academic-wise, and clinical-wise. This would be my list. Mind you, I was someone who struggled with Chemistry as an undergrad. That still was one of my weaknesses.

In grad school, I thought Chemistry was hard. Now in CRNA school, Chemistry is a very narrow window of Chemistry. You don’t have to know everything. It’s just a very narrow window, but I still found that challenging. More so than Chemistry, which I was surprised about because I love Pharmacology, I found things like dose efficacy curves to be challenging. I’m trying to memorize different blood gas coefficients and understanding all of that to be challenging, but I also equally found it fun and challenging in a fun way.

I had never had Physics in my undergrad. I don’t know if I even had it in high school. The Physics that we had to learn, like the Law of Laplace and all the blood gas laws, were new to me. That blew my mind. I’m someone who hates airplanes. I know airplanes work with the Law of Physics. I still hate flying on an airplane that weighs 1 gazillion million tons and they can just fly in the air, but it’s Physics. I had never grasped Physics prior to grad school. I also found this fun. Physics is interesting, but I equally find it incredibly hard and challenging.

I love Pathophysiology. That was always my jam. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not easy either, but I like it because it’s like a puzzle and all the systems work together, and so are Physics and Chemistry. It was the fact that Physics was brand new for me that made it challenging. Chemistry wasn’t something I enjoyed as much and it made it harder for me to understand it in a way that was enjoyable and effective for learning.

CRNA S2 85 | Struggles In CRNA School
Struggles In CRNA School: Letting your performance pressure get to you makes you succumb to burnout, leading to a lack of motivation and desire.

I love Pharmacology, but I equally think there are some things in Pharmacology that are way over my head that I’m like, “I would not care if I didn’t know that.” I’ve had to think about anything in school if I had to label it on a scale of 1 to 10. Physics for me was probably seven. Chemistry is probably 8 or 9 as far as difficulty. Certain aspects of Pharmacology were more like a six-ish kind of thing.

Chemistry is my hardest thing, Physics, and then some aspects of Pharm. Pathophysiology for me was challenging. I couldn’t understand everything, but it never felt like it was one of the topics that I hated. It was never one of the things like, “I dread this.” I did dread Chemistry and Physics sometimes; it was hard because I’ve never learned it before, which is why our boot camp teaches Chemistry and Physics.

This is one of the reasons why we made sure we taught that lecture to you guys inside our Nurse Anesthesia Resident Bootcamp because we understand that many of you need a refresher or an opening on specific topics that you will then cover again in CRNA school. Other than that, the academics for me was fun. You’re going to feel the same way. If you like Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, the disease process, and fluid management, it’s fun. It’s a lot, but it’s enjoyable to learn.

The clinical aspect was the hardest. I liked clinical, too. This is not even clinical-related, but what I thought was the hardest thing. For me, it was working with different CRNAs and attendings. That for me was what the hardest thing was in clinical and then just not knowing what you don’t know, which is always hard. Even until this day, I’m like, “I wish I knew that.” You don’t know what you don’t know until you realize you don’t know it. It’s like that in clinical where you’re walking in blind. You’re like, “I think I know,” but you don’t know until you experience it. I feel like a lot of your careers as CRNAs are like that. You’re going to always have these epiphany moments like, “How does this now makes sense?”

Now I get to experience this. I see that I was confused about the topic before, but now I have clarity because I saw it play out in real life. Working with different CRNAs and different attendings, 85% of whom I got to work with in CRNA schools as far as CRNAs and attending were fabulous. They were amazing. You could tell they care. They took me under their wing and it was a good experience. Now the other 15% was rocky. It’s like one of those things where when you have a good experience, you’re less likely to tell someone, but when you have a bad experience, you’re like, “You should know about this. This is what happened.” It’s more impactful mentally when you have a bad experience versus a good experience, which is unfortunate.

No one's thinking about you. They're actually thinking about themselves now. Click To Tweet

I don’t know why your brain is hardwired that way. It should be the opposite way around. It was not as common as the good experience was, but when I did have a bad experience, it was back to the mindset that I said was my biggest struggle and then I would take it personally. It would make me feel bad about who I was, that I wasn’t good enough, and that I wasn’t going to make it as a CRNA. I had a preceptor tell me that I didn’t have the backbone to be a CRNA. That was hurtful. During my time with them in the OR, they said, “You’re too nice to be a CRNA. You will never survive this career path. You don’t have a backbone.”

I don’t even know where it came from. It was completely out of left field. The same person who said that to me was also someone who went on to do other things that made me upset and made me cry one day. It was just that one person, but I had many negative interactions with that one person that I was like, “Is this me? Maybe I am too nice. Maybe I don’t have a big enough backbone. Maybe I can’t stand up for my patient or myself.” It made me question that, which is wrong. I can be feisty. I’m hot-blooded Irish. I am nice too and raised to be respectful.

Do me wrong and I will stand up for myself, but not even that. If I have to have it for my patient and I know it’s what they need, I don’t care who I’m talking to. I don’t care if they’re the Pope. I’ll advocate for the patient and I’ll disagree. I know I have it in me, but it made me question that when I had someone tell me I was too nice.

In many years of being a CRNA, my niceness has served me incredibly well. I lead with respect. Whenever I go someplace, I have a smile. I say hi to everyone. I’m pleasant. I try to pitch in, be a team player, and check on my coworkers. I try to treat other people the way I would want to be treated. Is that so bad? Is that so wrong? It served me incredibly well in my career to be nice. I can save my feisty attitude for at home. Ask my husband.

I wanted to leave you with this. If you have a bad day with a preceptor or you have a preceptor who’s saying some things that make you feel bad about yourself, analyze where that’s coming from and make it a physical choice to not believe it and say, “I’m not going to agree with you. I’m going to agree to disagree.” That’s okay. I also had a preceptor right I was getting ready to graduate. I realized this after the fact that it was coming from her own insecurities, putting it on me. I physically remember her telling me that I will hate my career for the first six months. This is my last week as a student getting ready to graduate.

Why would you say that? I went home in tears. I left clinical that day. I had like two days left to clinical and I was going to graduate. I remember telling my husband, “I hope I didn’t make a mistake becoming a CRNA.” I’m scared now. I don’t want to hate my career path. I’m scared I’m going to be so miserable after I graduate. I have been miserable for years now. How can I take anymore? I was at my breaking point where I was empty. I didn’t have a good mental mindset and felt empty.

For someone to say that to me, when I was already hollow, felt like a giant blow to the stomach where I just felt like the wind was knocked out of me. Everything that I had left in me was gone. It was incredibly disheartening. I remember it wasn’t probably until like 24 to 48 hours later after I finished my last clinical day, which was a 24-hour shift and was incredibly brutal, but I did it. I remember thinking that was their insecurities about themselves and what their experience was like. Because they experienced that does not mean I’m going to experience it.

I did not experience that at all. I love my career. Very quickly out of the gate, I got onto an open-heart team. I loved it. Was it challenging and hard? It was, but I loved every minute of it. In the first 2 to 3 weeks of being a CRNA, I was scared. Don’t get me wrong. It’s one of those things where not scared in a way that I can’t function, but scared because I was like, “I want to make a good impression.”

It was more like, I want to make sure they know they can trust me and build that trust. I came to find after a period of time that there’s one key way to build trust, respect, and communication. That’s it. It’s not super hard. You don’t have to know everything. Remember that. Communication means asking questions. Trust and respect mean being polite, asking with courtesy, and being open-ended. Respect for communication builds trust. That’s how you build trust. It’s not by knowing everything.

Once I accepted that reality, it led the fear to dwindle into the background, which I still have. To be a CRNA, you’re always going to have that fear in the back that’s like, “I hope I can handle this. I hope I’m ready for what I’m walking into, but let’s go.” I also equally know I’m reassured by the fact that I have a team, support, and communication, and I find it to be respectful. They’re going to give me that courtesy back to educate, empower, and teach me. It’s always been that way. I’ve had some of the best learning experiences as a CRNA, not as a student. It’s different when you learn as a CRNA versus a student. It’s more rewarding because you finally let go of that performance pressure to a certain extent.

If you’re getting ready to graduate and you’re afraid, let me leave you with the fact that you’re going to love your life. You’re going to love being a CRNA. You’re going to rock it. It’s going to feel so free and so gratifying to get where you are. If you have someone try to make you feel otherwise, we need to check it because don’t let anyone else rain on your parade. I’ll leave you guys with that. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Thank you so very much for reading. I appreciate you. Until next week, cheers to your future.

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