Appendicitis, Broken Bones, Gall Bladder, Heart Attack, Stroke … All are unexpected conditions that our citizens have every day, and all may require a surgical intervention. Because of experiencing fear regarding anesthesia is common, patients want to know that they are in experienced hands, someone to ensure that they will not feel pain and will have a great experience. In Tennessee, we have over 1,900 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who are all dedicated to making certain the citizens of Tennessee have access to excellent anesthesia care. Providing services are large university hospitals, urban and rural community hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and office based clinics where CRNAs are an essential provider in Tennessee. Currently CRNAs are the primary provider of anesthesia services in Tennessee with 41 of the 95 counties in Tennessee having anesthesia services provided ONLY by nurse anesthetists.
In 2014, Tennessee will undergo healthcare reform as legislators have vowed to address this issue during the legislative session. The question is, “how will CRNAs play a role in the new system”? Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are first, and foremost, passionate about being patient advocates. Our priority is to ensure that when one of our fellow Tennesseans arrives for a surgery, for which they feel fear of the unknown, we as CRNAs can ensure quality care. We will be with them throughout the entire procedure providing high quality and caring anesthesia care, ensuring that you have a thorough pre-op assessment, adequate pain control, vigilant monitoring, and a comfortable post operative experience.
January 19-25 is National Nurse Anesthetists Week. There are currently 45,000 CRNAs providing approx. 34 million anesthetics each year in the United States covering anesthesia for obstetrics, pain management, pediatrics, transplants, cardiac care, neurosurgery, trauma, and many other cases. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists are the primary provider of anesthesia services for our military serving in both the front line Medical Units, support hospitals, and in the VA system.
As an anesthesia specialist for over 150 years, and as the first specialist dedicated solely to anesthesia care, CRNAs are here for our patients. We hope that you will take time this week and thank the CRNAs at your hospital or other facility. If you are having surgery this week, know that it is CRNAs who will be watching over you ensuring that you have the highest quality care.