Locumpedia Tips its Cap to the “OGs” of Anesthesia During National CRNA Week 2023

In 2000, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) launched National CRNA Week to specially recognize the more than 60,000 practicing nurse anesthetists across the country for advancing health outcomes through their transformative care.

This year’s theme, “The Original Anesthesia Experts,” signifies the profession’s deep roots in administering anesthesia in nearly every medical setting for more than 150 years. This year’s theme also commends modern efforts on the part of CRNAs to advance patient care and the profession as a whole during a time of change.

The role of a nurse anesthetist dates to the Civil War, when nurses were on the front line delivering anesthetic care to wounded soldiers. According to the AANA, CRNAs safely distribute more than 50 million anesthetics to US patients annually. In fact, CRNAs account for more than half of the anesthesia care working population. They are a vital part of what keeps many healthcare facilities, hospitals, and patients going. And the future for nurse anesthetists is bright.

To see CRNAs in action, check out some inspiring CRNA stories from around the world in various practice settings published by AANA.  

To help shine a light on the important work CRNAs perform, Locumpedia rounded up some tidbits you might not have known:

CRNAs Remain Resilient Despite Restrictions

Currently, CRNAs in 28 states face restrictions in providing the care they are trained and well-equipped to provide. For instance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has a rule requiring nurse anesthetists’ supervision. While the pandemic prompted CMS to temporarily remove this physician supervision requirement, many feel this move should be made permanent. They believe it would reduce the cost of care, give patients more choices and fewer wait times, and allow supervising physicians to perform more procedures themselves. 

With the Veterans Administration advocating making this change permanent, such a move would likely spur more states to remove the restriction. Eliminating barriers to care through the more widespread use of CRNAs can lighten the heavy burden on down healthcare. Read more about how AANA is addressing these challenges during the 2023-24 legislative session

From Farms to ERs: The Critical Impact of CRNAs on Rural Communities

CRNAs are essential in providing anesthesia care to rural communities across the United States. CRNAs make up more than 80% of anesthesia providers in rural areas and are a key component in providing surgical procedures in rural healthcare settings. 

CRNAs enable expectant families to have high-quality delivery experiences without traveling long distances for obstetrics care. Additionally, CRNAs are highly sought after in rural areas as they are the primary providers of anesthesia care. 

Kimberly Brandt, MSN, MPH, CRNA, the chief nurse anesthetist at the only hospital in Taos, New Mexico, shared her experience and the challenges that come with working in rural settings, such as the need for quick thinking to ensure the best and safest care for patients. 

Despite their importance in rural communities, the shortage of CRNAs remains an ongoing challenge. This shortage is exemplified by a rural Montana clinic that implemented innovative solutions to address shortages. To ensure patients in rural communities receive the best and safest care possible, experts say healthcare providers and policymakers must continue to advocate and highlight the significance CRNAs have in rural areas. 

History, Inspiration, and Giveaways: How Locum Tenens Agencies are Recognizing CRNAs this Week

While nurse anesthetists are at the forefront of healthcare, locum tenens staffing agencies are the crucial link between CRNAs and the healthcare facilities who depends on them to fill gaps in coverage. Every year during CRNA Week, agencies join the healthcare community in thanking CRNAs for their invaluable contributions to patient care. Here are some unique ways locum tenens agencies are honoring CRNAs this week. 

History Lessons
  • Independence Anesthesia Services commemorated the contributions and achievements of nurse anesthetists who have played a pivotal role in shaping the anesthesia delivery since the profession’s conception. From the early days of administering anesthesia during 19th century wars to the present, CRNAs have been at the forefront of medicine. Learn more about these trailblazers.
  • Western Healthcare celebrated the pivotal role CRNAs have played in the success of many medical procedures for over the past 150 years. The founding figure of CRNA storied history is Alice Magaw known as the “Mother of Anesthesia” for her innovative approach that led to significant advancements in modern surgery. Discover more about the history and expected growth of the CRNA profession.
Locums Inspiration
  • All Star Healthcare Solutions appreciates the work of more than 65,000 CRNAs who administer necessary anesthetics to patients. CRNAs work in various settings, such as surgical centers, delivery rooms, and dental and ophthalmology offices, and have flexibility over their work schedule and earning potential.  Find out more about the benefits of working as a locum tenens CRNA.
  • Hayes Locums profiled CRNA Nikki Todd. Todd shared her experience and thoughts on the importance of the week that was created in her honor. She also discussed the advantages of working as a locums CRNA, including the opportunity to travel and pursue personal goals.  Read more about her locums CRNA journey
Win Stuff!
  • Barton Associates is hosting a giveaway of a $150 gift card for Clove sneakers. To enter the giveaway, CRNAs are invited to follow their LinkedIn page, like the post, and tag a friend or colleague in the comments. Check out the terms and conditions for details. 
  • Recruiting Resources is giving away two Herschel travel duffels. Learn more about the giveaway.
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