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What is the difference between a CRNA and an anesthesiologist?

Hello! I am a rising junior in high school, and am very interested in going into the medical field. However, I don't know exactly what I want to do. I am not sure whether to go into nursing or medical school. #medicine #nursing #doctor #medical #crna #anesthesiologist #college

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Corin’s Answer

An anesthesiologist is a MD that has trained in this field of study. A CRNA is an advanced practice nurse that has special training in this field. Both routes lead to a similar goal. However, scope of practice and autonomy for CRNAs differ by state. For instance, in some states CRNAs have to work under the supervision of an MD.

Pay and length of education is comparable. Most CRNA programs require you to have worked as an RN for a few years before applying to school. You should take that into consideration when choosing which route to take.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! That was helpful Athena
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Pierre’s Answer

Great answer by Corin's. I'll like to add my comments. The main difference between them is that Anesthesiologists are MD's vs CRNA are practice nurses with an advance education and studies. The years between both professions as well as the time invested in such specialty is different as well as the responsibility, scope, governance and autonomy. Both can be Hospital employee or group employee where you may see different conditions in benefits and flexibility. Depending the goals as far as careers and time that you may want to invest will definitely define and shape your future as a professional which also impact your personal and family environment. Good luck on the decision you may take or pursue both definitely both careers have an awesome impact in many ways with the quality of life for many patients in need. Within both career you may also be able to sub-specialize in Cardiac, Neuro, Ped, or many others.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your response! Very helpful. Athena
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KATIE’s Answer

CRNA is not an MD. Cert Nurse who has experience with nursing and ICU prior to going back to school.
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