This week – January 25th–31st, 2009 – is…
National Nurse Anesthetists Week
Yesterday (Jan 25th) was National IV Nurse DAY
National Nurse Anesthetists Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. It’s an opportunity for patients & families to recognize the important contributions which Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) make to America’s healthcare system.
This is the tenth year that Nurse Anesthetists will be celebrated for their “Proven, Professional and Passionate” care (the week’s theme) during the week which is designated to recognize their nearly 150 years of history & accomplishments in serving patients.
From Jackie Rowles, CRNA, MBA, MA, FAAPM, president of the 40,000-member AANA:
“Since the beginning of the nurse anesthesia specialty during the Civil War, we have played a key role in improving patient monitoring technology, anesthesia equipment, provider education, and overall patient safety. In fact, according to the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was during the 1980s, and the efforts of CRNAs have been monumental in the achievement of these results.”
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer approximately 30 million anesthetics in the United States each year. They are at the forefront of anesthesia patient safety, practicing in every type of setting where anesthesia is needed. CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly two-thirds of all rural hospitals, and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. service men and women on the front lines of battle since World War I.
“I believe I speak for the majority of today’s CRNAs when I say that one of the most fulfilling parts of my job is reassuring patients that I will be by their side throughout their entire procedure, monitoring every beat of their heart and every breath that they take, and ensuring the safe provision of anesthesia and the effective treatment of pain,” Rowles said.
Often patients are asleep or sedated while under the care of a nurse anesthetist in the OR, and may not recall that a nurse anesthetist is caring for them. Patients often associate their anesthesia experience with the fading of operating room sounds and activities only to safely awaken later in the recovery room. But while their patients sleep, CRNAs remain vigilant during the procedure—checking their patients’ vital signs, adjusting their anesthesia, and bringing them back to consciousness when the surgery is complete.
Some helpful reading for anesthesia preparedness:
(RE: Anesthesia, Surgery, Conscious Sedation, Sedated MRI’s, etc.)
For More about Nurse Anesthetists:
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