Ep 63: Student Perspectives of Anesthesia School with Dr. Kristie Hoch, CRNA

Choosing to become a CRNA requires a lot of hard work or dedication but the time has never been better to enter this profession. We wanted to get a better sense of the challenges and opportunities for anesthesia school students in 2020 and Dr. Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, MS, RRT, from the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing will help us gain that perspective.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

***CE CREDIT ALERT: We are excited to share a series of podcasts in partnership with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists as part of their new video and audio streaming platform, the CRNA Knowledge Network. For currently active members of the AANA, you can earn FREE Class A Continuing Education Credit by listening to these CE-approved podcasts on their platform!

Visit AANACKN.com and log in with your AANA User ID and Password to access the audio sessions for these particular episodes.

Note, some episodes are pending CE approval and may have an expiration date.

On This Episode:

As a podcast for CRNA professionals, we spend a lot of our time focusing on life after your career begins. Today, we want to focus on the future of the profession by taking a look at the state of anesthesia school for students that will soon enter into this career field.

To help us gain that classroom perspective, we’ve brought on Dr. Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, MS, RRT, from the University of Arizona. She’s the Program Administrator for the school’s DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program, and she’s relatively new to the world of education. But she brings years of experience as a CRNA to the students she helps develop.

2:33 – Today we’re focusing on students and their perspectives as they learn in anesthesia school.

3:57 – This is an important topic because these students are our future and we need to provide all the tools they need.

Anesthesia school has changed quite a bit through the years but one of the most noticeable changes is with technology. School has become accessible from anywhere with improvements in internet speeds and platforms to share information. It’s even changed the way educators manage their classrooms and the way they teach.

And for students, this age of technology and access has given them the ability to connect with peers and professionals around the country. That can be such a huge opportunity to learn from others that was never around even 20 years ago.

4:29 – What are the advantages of being a nurse anesthesia student in 2020?

6:17 – Online classes today allow Kristie to provide students the lecture ahead of time and use class for discussion.

7:24 – Anesthesia class is such a challenge so we want to make sure each student has a support system.

7:50 – Students are able to find mentorships through social media and other online sites.

9:00 – How has the demand for CRNAs affected Kristie’s work?

We all know how much of an emotional and mental challenge it can be to graduate from anesthesia school. Dr. Hoch works closely with her students to make sure they all have a support system in their life because you need it to stay on track through the many difficult days and nights.

But once you come out of it on the other side, the future is so bright for CRNAs. Many students graduate with multiple job offers and their career is in their hands. It’s such a benefit to be able to pick your career path and your work environment while enjoying a healthy salary.

10:22 – How is the DNP changing opportunities for students and CRNAs?

12:20 – Dr. Hoch shares an ‘aha moment’

13:25 – The prospects for these graduating students is very bright in 2020.  

The cost of education has become a topic of conversation across the country and we all know that anesthesia school is no exception. Many students graduate with six-figure debt and it can be overwhelming.

The good news is jobs will be waiting for you but understanding finance and how to manage that debt is critical. As the founder of CRNA Financial Planning©, Jeremy works with professionals all the time that are trying to gain control of their finances and he feels it’s vital that we make these conversations a part of the schooling so CRNAs are prepared.

14:42 – One of the big challenges still is how costly the education process has become.

16:48 – Financial education needs to be a conversation for students throughout the process.

19:12 – We tell students to live like they did on a nurse salary for a few years to pay off debt and gain control of finances.

21:24 – Another thing students are completely unaware of is that they move up a tax bracket.

21:49 – A popular conversation we have with students is W-2 vs 1099 work.

Another new challenge facing students is social media. With the rise of these apps and websites, our lives are as public as they’ve ever been. That can be very beneficial if used correctly but disruptive when it’s not.

22:38 – What are some of the other challenges are students are facing right now?

26:29 – Social media has its advantages, but it can also be very disruptive to students and their careers.  

30:25 – There’s so much negativity on social media with people tearing each other down. Why is that?

As we close out the conversation with Dr. Hoch, we wanted to find out what made her change her career trajectory by becoming an educator. I know we’re glad she did.

And we give her the floor for one final message that all students should take to heart.

31:48 – How Dr. Hoch got into education. She shares the story of saying no to the job and why her mind changed.

33:50 – Dr. Hoch explains the unique way that she picks her travel.            

35:09 – Her last trip was to Santa Fe.

35:46 – Dr. Hoch’s final message to students about how challenging school is but how rewarding it will ultimate be.

This is an episode that will benefit every CRNA and give you the knowledge you need to understand what’s happening in our profession. Plus, you can get a continuing education credit from the AANA for listening to this episode. Go to AANACKN.com to get the details.

Check it out at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.


“You’re the smartest you will ever be, book-wise, the day you graduate from anesthesia school. Now I’m not sure that I would trade my knowledge for that knowledge now because I’ve learned the art as well as the science of anesthesia, but they do keep you on your toes.”

-Sharon Pearce, CRNA





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As anesthesia providers charged with providing patients with the highest quality anesthesia care, we are obligated to become more knowledgeable of these disparities in healthcare and strive to play an active role in addressing these pervasive systemic issues.




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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.