Where Do I See Myself after Years of Nursing School

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My name is Sophia Sikat and I aspire to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I want to transfer to a university to get my Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Once I graduate, it is required for me to work at an ICU for two to three years, then apply for my doctorate in anesthesia which would take another two years. When I was about 16 years old, I had to undergo a medical procedure that consists of a pediatric physician inserting a tiny camera down my throat and into my stomach. This approach was vital in confirming existing ulcers on the lining of my stomach. Without a doubt, the process was terrifying but the fear I held before the procedure vanished once the Pediatric CRNA walked into the room. I will never forget everything he did in order for me to be more comfortable in the operating room. I am interested in becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist because just like the physician who managed me, I want to devote myself to one patient at a time, as I watch over them and see that my patient is pain free during the operation. According to my Clifton Strengths report, my five strengths were input, restorative, individualization, consistency and intellection. My strength of input could help me pursue my career and enter my profession by being curious of my environment and having the urge to attain new information. This will be essential in the numerous terms and concepts that I need to know in nursing school. Being restorative in action, I enjoy challenges and solving problems. I bring courage to problematic situations. This strength of mine will aid in tense moments in the hospital that will require quick action, like working in the emergency room. My trait in individualization will help me in working alongside surgeons, janitors, anesthesiologists and technicians. I deeply understand the significance of working together in a group. Consistency will contribute in treating everyone the same throughout my career, which I think is very important. This characteristic of mine contributes to my need of working in a stable environment, with rules and regulations that I must follow. My trait of strong intellect will help me in finding similarities within my nursing cohort. According to Clifton Strengths, I strongly value intellectual conversations. I have the ability to not only think in a singular manner, but I am able to comprehend things in multiple ways. This trait will also be crucial in study groups and group works.

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In 2018, the median pay of a Nurse anesthetist was $167,000. Due to the newly found emphasis on preventive care and the aging population of the current batch of nurse anesthetists, a 17% employment increase is expected from 2018 to 2028. CRNA’s are known to supply anesthesia from the least invasive medical procedure to an actual operation. To safely administer anesthesia before any procedure, the Nurse Anesthetist must have a brief consultation with their patient about their medical history, concerns, etc. After doing so, the CRNA will then give general or local anesthesia to the patient, depending on what is needed for the operation. The Nurse anesthetist will be looking over the patient the whole time of the procedure to track vital signs, heartbeat, etc. To become a CRNA, one must attain a registered nursing license, complete an accredited graduate-level program, and pass a national certification exam.

For a more local point-of-view, the annual salary of a Nurse anesthetist in the Houston Area is $161,803. As of right now, there are about 2,097 CRNA’s that are employed in our area. This number is expected to grow and add an astounding 232 new Nurse Anesthetists by 2028. Some of the multiple responsibilities of a CRNA are to establish anesthesia care plans, Insert arterial catheters or perform arterial punctures to obtain arterial blood samples, airway management, etc. An aspiring Nurse anesthetist should have a bachelor's degree in nursing, a Registered Nurse licensure, a minimum of one year critical care experience (for example, ICU) and complete both an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and the national certification examination.

After taking the Texas Reality Check test, my annual salary should be at least $102,480 to maintain the lifestyle that I desire. I plan to be more comfortable, money-wise. I would want to spend my money wisely at times, and also recklessly since I will work hard for it. My expected annual salary of $161,803 should be more than enough to bring that lifestyle to life. My excess income would most likely be distributed to give back to my parents, my children’s college funds, my retirement and charities that I would want to support (immigrant families, civil rights groups, climate change and world health).

To have a similar lifestyle in Brooklyn, New York, I would have to be making $310,180 a year. Compared to Houston, living in Brooklyn would triple my monthly expenses and such. New York is known to have an extremely expensive quality of life. The housing price difference itself is already 272% higher than Houston. On the other hand, to attain my desired lifestyle in Austin, Texas, I would have to be making $164,233 a year. These numbers are not too far off from my expected annual salary here in Houston. It would be an almost similar way of living. Although housing will be 14% more, the cost for utilities and transportation would cost significantly less. Establishing a family later on in life and living in a spacious house would make the biggest impact on my decision. Brooklyn, New York would not provide me with a spacious place that aligns with my salary. The cost of food, especially with children involved, would be expensive. The cost of transportation would add up overtime to more money, since using the subways would cost me a little bit here and there. Living in Austin, Texas would be just like living in Houston, but with more expensive housing rates. I feel as if the location of my particular career would not matter as much. In any corner of the country, a nurse would be able to find a job because of the demanding employment environment. I would most definitely choose to live in Houston, which is the biggest medical center in the world.

I can contribute to my community by putting my learned soft skills of problem-solving and effective communication to use. According to Volunteer match, I may participate as an event associate for the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. My responsibilities include watching over the Volunteer Kit even before the blood drive starts and return it to the staff at the end of my shift, inform people about Commit for Life as a donor and/or volunteer and answer basic questions. This will help build my professional network by taking time in talking to different people. I may also volunteer at Memorial Hermann Children’s Hospital. I could conosole patients that are in a crisis, hold a newborn in the nursery, answer phone calls, give directions to visitors and such. This would help build my professional network because many of the current doctors that are associated with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, are professors at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Although I am not going into medical school, the connections I will make will be vital in my learning process as a future worker in the medical field.

To have my long-term career goal as a SMART goal, my S (specific) would be graduating from an anesthesia program to become a CRNA. I plan to attain this goal in seven years, when I am about twenty-six years old. Three particular steps that I will take to reach this goal are to stay ahead in studying for all of my classes, graduate with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing and work at an Intensive Care Unit for two years before my masters. To be exact, getting into a good nursing school and a masters program may be difficult. There will also be times when I will feel overwhelmed with school work and feel confused at the start of clinical rotations. Although these challenges sound intimidating, perseverance is the key to jump over these hurdles. When everything gets a little too much, I will not forget to take a step back and take a deep breath. It is important to take these career steps seriously, but never forget to enjoy along the way. Once I’ve reached my goal of becoming a Nurse anesthetist, it will only be the beginning of my journey. My life would be exciting and full of surprises and I will feel very grateful for choosing this career, even though it was difficult to handle at times.

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