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CRNA's salary vs. PA's

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Hello everyone,

 

I am new to the forums and am a student with aspirations to become a PA in the near future. I currently attend Nova Southeastern University(undergrad).

 

After reading online that CRNA's avg salary is significantly less than that of a PA, it begs me to ask the question as to why that is?. No im am not looking into theses careers for the money... just a question.

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is there an exact reason why they make more?

 

 

It's my observation that working with physicians who have high incomes equates to a high salary! Ask Ortho or CT Surg PAs and Pediatric PAs about this!:D

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is there an exact reason why they make more?

It has to do with billing. Their are only three providers under medicare that can bill for anesthesia: physicians, anesthesiology assistants and CRNA's. There is a relative shortage of all anesthesia providers in the US (once again more of a regional misallocation).

 

Anesthesia is profitable for the most part because it has low overhead and good reimbursement. Also since the hospital has to have anesthesia to open an OR they will frequently pay an incentive to an anesthesia group to do stuff that would normally be part and parcel of practice (OB or night call for example). In addition after physicians deserted anesthesia in droves in the early 90's because of the poor reimbursement, Medicare increased reimbursement dramatically in the mid 90's making it a relatively desirable specialty. This spilled over to into increased CRNA and AA reimbursement.

 

So you have a situation where there is a requirement for the position coupled by good compensation. If you look at the billing a CRNA does not pull in a lot more than a PA in terms of collections. However they have almost no overhead and a relatively small pool to draw from which means that the practice pays them a larger percentage of what they bring in than a PA (for example).

 

David Carpenter, PA-C

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It's my observation that working with physicians who have high incomes equates to a high salary! Ask Ortho or CT Surg PAs and Pediatric PAs about this!:D

 

 

follow the money.....

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it might have to do with the fact that they are independent practitioners as well

 

not everywhere.

 

To me, its an easy decision if this is something you are worried about.

 

PAs have the potential to earn as much as CRNAs. CT surgery is a good example, as well as EM. BUT, CRNA are anesthesia providers and ONLY anesthesia providers. Very limiting and boring to me. As a PA, if you like EM or CT surg or ortho or if you just want money you can go into one of those fields. WHen you realize money isnt everything or when your loans are paid off, you can then switch to ANY specialty you want.. and if you're tired of stress and decisions, you can take a job at the local minute clinic where all the decisions are made for you. :-D

 

easy choice,

chris

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http://www.anesthesiazone.com/crna-salaries.aspx

 

from what I saw, in '06 starting CRNAs were making 110K, averaging more than 160K--are PAs really making more than CRNAs?

 

AAPA stats

 

Sorry, I guess I'm getting the "they's" mixed up... it might have to do with the fact that they are independent practitioners as well

It probably has very little do do with "independence". AAs get the same salaries as CRNAs. It has to do with relatively good reimbursement and low overhead. Like NP "independence" CRNA independence is largely overblown. The latest figure I saw showed 90% of CRNAs in an ACT model. The places that they are not in an ACT model are generally not considered the most desirable locations.

 

David Carpenter, PA-C

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In SE Michigan, CRNA's make more. At 1 major Detroit health system, CRNA's make $72.00/hr with benefits and a contigent makes $83.00/hr. I am most certain that the oth er health systems pay similar. A wife of a co-worker is currently enrolled in CRNA school and was offered jobs before she even started. I remember the one job was for $135,000+ with loan repayment. This was at a smaller community hospital about 2-3 hours north of Detroit.

 

 

 

Rob

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not everywhere.

 

To me, its an easy decision if this is something you are worried about.

 

PAs have the potential to earn as much as CRNAs. CT surgery is a good example, as well as EM. BUT, CRNA are anesthesia providers and ONLY anesthesia providers. Very limiting and boring to me. As a PA, if you like EM or CT surg or ortho or if you just want money you can go into one of those fields. WHen you realize money isnt everything or when your loans are paid off, you can then switch to ANY specialty you want.. and if you're tired of stress and decisions, you can take a job at the local minute clinic where all the decisions are made for you. :-D

 

easy choice,

chris

 

CT PAs can make 150+ but it is not as common a salary as it is in the CRNA world. You need to be in private practice as a CT PA to make this $$$......

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CT PAs can make 150+ but it is not as common a salary as it is in the CRNA world. You need to be in private practice as a CT PA to make this $$$......

 

Yeah, I guess I was thinking more that PAs can make as much as the 'average' CRNA makes.

 

Interestingly, since the subject of CRNA independence came up.. I am filling out my mountatin of first job paperwork right now and my malpractice insurance specifically asked if I, or whoever is applying, would be doing surgeries/procedures where a CRNA was acting as the only anesthesia provider.

 

I am sure if they are asking it, it means they charge more if you will be. interesting.

 

chris

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However, the point of discussing salary is moot since, in most states PA's are not allowed to provide anesthesia services, so, if Anesthesia is an interest, PA is not the way to go.

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I will just say this....my brother is a crna, I am in pa school.

 

Where he is now, he works about 35-45 hours per week, has 7 weeks a year paid vacation, and makes over $250K per year.

 

BUT...he is only doing anesthesia, like mentioned before...BORING!! He is also considered contract, so he pays his own insurance, taxes, etc. He says if he adjusts those expenses out (like it was in his last job), he makes about $190-200K. As far as I can tell....this is pretty much WAY over what the average PA makes...lol

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I will just say this....my brother is a crna, I am in pa school.

 

Where he is now, he works about 35-45 hours per week, has 7 weeks a year paid vacation, and makes over $250K per year.

 

BUT...he is only doing anesthesia, like mentioned before...BORING!! He is also considered contract, so he pays his own insurance, taxes, etc. He says if he adjusts those expenses out (like it was in his last job), he makes about $190-200K. As far as I can tell....this is pretty much WAY over what the average PA makes...lol

 

"Boring"......I'd have to agree with that. You have to look at more than just the $$ signs. CRNAs are just glorified RTs who stand around all day.

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"Boring"......I'd have to agree with that. You have to look at more than just the $$ signs. CRNAs are just glorified RTs who stand around all day.

 

I don't know about the standing around part. When I was going through intubation clinicals, the ABC's of anesthesia were explained to me as:

 

A - airway

B - book

C - chair

 

:D

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I don't know about the standing around part. When I was going through intubation clinicals, the ABC's of anesthesia were explained to me as:

 

A - airway

B - book

C - chair

 

:D

or

airway

break

coffee

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From what I saw my brother go through, vs what I am going through....crna is a LOT more pharm and math-type thinking....so for me, it would be harder to go crna.

 

But I think it is all in your make-up. My bro thinks what I am going through is harder....so who really knows...

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From what I saw my brother go through, vs what I am going through....crna is a LOT more pharm and math-type thinking....so for me, it would be harder to go crna.

 

But I think it is all in your make-up. My bro thinks what I am going through is harder....so who really knows...

 

Ok i see, i not really a big math person, but its still early for me so i have a while to think about it.

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I don't know about the standing around part. When I was going through intubation clinicals, the ABC's of anesthesia were explained to me as:

 

A - airway

B - book

C - chair

 

:D

 

I bet the Anesthesiologist's I work with wish their lives were that easy. Although, there are bread and butter cases, not all are straightforward. Dealing with airway is dealing with life or death in all age groups. I guess, like anything, it's what your interested in. Although, as a PA I can't do as much as an Anesthesiologist or CRNA, I wish I could. To me, it's an exciting field.

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I bet the Anesthesiologist's I work with wish their lives were that easy. Although, there are bread and butter cases, not all are straightforward. Dealing with airway is dealing with life or death in all age groups. I guess, like anything, it's what your interested in. Although, as a PA I can't do as much as an Anesthesiologist or CRNA, I wish I could. To me, it's an exciting field.

 

I used to go to church with a crna before I moved. He described his job to me as 90% boredom, 10% horror.

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"Boring"......I'd have to agree with that. You have to look at more than just the $$ signs. CRNAs are just glorified RTs who stand around all day.

 

glorify ME and i'll take $120K a year with 8 weeks vacation versus $50K and 3 wks vacation......

 

:cool:

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Guest cabkrun

Anesthesiologists, for obvious reasons, have some of the highest malpractice insurance. CRNA seems to be a huge and growing profession. I see nurses heading that route for the $$ and because they are burned out on nursing. The schooling is heavy chemistry and math, and I had a lot of CRNA candidates in my biochem class. They are pretty hard programs to get into, but people like the money. I am not sure how boring it is. It does have its stresses as there are a lot of little things you have to know... how to correctly put under a cardiac surgery patient vs. spinal vs. a less complicated surgery, etc. To me the risks of people going under would not mean I'd find it boring :). Also, monitoring during the procedure is done, so I'm not sure how much sitting around they do. Of course, I don't know any personally, so I can't say. I like the description of "90% boredom, 10% horror!"

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I work with anesthesiologists & CRNAs every day...in my observation they may make it seem like its "easy" but it is critically important work. Between managing critically ill patients, airway nightmares, and all the aspects of pre/intra/post-op patient care..it is anything but "boring" IMHO.

 

We all have our different talents...that is part of what makes medicine such an incredible ride! Love it!:D

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