Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are the difference makers when it comes to ensuring that patients make it safely and comfortably through surgery, child-bearing, and other procedures without pain or recollection of the events that have occurred. During National CRNA Week, January 24-30, 2016, CRNAs and their patients will celebrate this year's theme, 'CRNAs: Making A Difference One Patient at a Time', by educating the public about the value of nurse anesthesia and the critical role CRNAs play in today's, and tomorrow's, healthcare system.
Juan Quintana, president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), said, "Every day, every case, and every patient is different. The presence of CRNAs in hospitals, surgery centers, physicians' offices, pain clinics, and our nation's military service branches ensures that vulnerable patient populations have access to anesthesia required for surgery, labor and delivery, emergency care and chronic pain management."
‘Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are the difference makers when it comes to ensuring that patients make it safely and comfortably through surgery without pain or recollection of the events that have occurred.’
Despite attempts by competitors to needlessly impose barriers on their scope of practice, CRNAs and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) are stepping up to the plate to address the needs of America's rural and poor urban communities. A recent study titled, 'Geographical Imbalance of Anesthesia Providers and its Impact on the Uninsured and Vulnerable Populations', published in Journal of Nursing Economics
found that CRNAs, who are already the primary providers of anesthesia services in rural America, are providing the majority of anesthesia care in U.S. counties with lower-income populations and populations that are more likely to be uninsured or unemployed.
"Our top priority has and always will be our patients' safety, and in order to best meet the needs of the millions of newly insured patients entering the healthcare system thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we must remove unnecessary barriers to practice and allow CRNAs to practice to the full scope of their education and training," said Quintana.
CRNAs administer anesthesia in traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, public health services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. CRNAs also provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and podiatrists for all types of procedures.