Balancing CAA School With Family Responsiblities

Navigating the challenging balance of anesthesiologist assistant schooling and family responsibilities might feel like walking a tightrope, but don't worry—it's totally doable with careful planning. If you're contemplating CAA school with a partner and/or children in the picture, here are a few considerations.

CAA school is time-consuming and highly structured.

CAA school demands a significant time commitment and operates within a highly structured framework.

The program extends slightly over two years, packed with a mix of didactic and clinical training. In your first year, expect to divide your time between classrooms and hospitals, both of which require mandatory attendance. Transitioning into the second year, the focus shifts predominantly to clinical rotations at hospitals, some of which are out-of-town or out-of-state rotations.

The rhythm of the day kicks off early, and you'll find yourself at the hospital by 6:00 am, preparing the anesthesia workstation in the operating room. The anesthesia world not only starts its day early but adheres strictly to punctuality.

This commitment to timeliness extends to the classroom training. Labs and simulations kick off promptly, making your schedule fairly inflexible during your schooling. On certain days, classes may stretch into the evening, once again curbing your flexibility outside of your schooling.

A Strong Support System Facilitates Success.

Keeping in mind the structured nature of CAA school, it's incredibly helpful to have a strong support system to facilitate your success. Having a partner or extended family who can remain flexible and adapt to your school committments helps alleviate the stress associated with caring for children or other family members.

It's crucial for your partner to harbor realistic expectations about your schooling, acknowledging the likelihood of sacrifices on their part to maintain a smoothly running household when you're attending classes or engaged in anesthesia duties, rendering you temporarily unavailable.

Another aspect of your support system is financial. You'll want to consider the financial impact of school on your family and the practicality of how the household will cover living expenses. When you're in school, you will not have the capacity to work another job, meaning you'll either rely on your partner or on student loans.

Ultimately, you may find yourself relying on your partner for both time and financial support, underlining the importance of a robust support system as you navigate the structured demands of CAA school.

CAA school is temporary and has a worthwhile pay off.

Amidst this intensity, remember that CAA school is a temporary phase with a worthwhile payoff. The structured schedule is a means to an end, possibly propelling you and your family closer to career or financial goals. Strategic time management allows you to be fully present wherever you are—be it the operating room or spending quality time with your kids.

CAA school doesn't have to feel like a wedge between you and your loved ones. Instead, view it as a shared goal that has the potential to enrich not only the lives of the patients you'll eventually care for but also the lives of your family members.

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Sarah is the founder of Aspiring CAA, a practicing certified anesthesiologist assistant, clinical preceptor, and assistant professor at a master of medical science program. With admission committee experience and an intricate knowledge of the admissions process, she helps guide prospective CAA students on their career journey.

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About this blog

Aspiring CAA is the go-to blog for expert advice on how to become a CAA. Founded by a practicing certified anesthesiologist assistant, clinical preceptor, and assistant professor at a master of medical science program in anesthesiology, Aspiring CAA makes admissions guidance readily available to all aspiring anesthesiologist assistants. With admission committee experience and an intricate knowledge of the admissions process, Aspiring CAA takes the guess work out of applying to CAA school.

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