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For more than 150 years, nurse anesthetists have provided anesthesia care in the United States. Now certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs, also known as “nurse anesthesiologists”) safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients annually.
This year’s National CRNA Week theme, “Experts you trust. Care you can count on,” highlights the safe, quality care provided by some 57,000 nurse anesthetists practicing across the United States today. Since 2000 the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) has designated the last full week in January (January 24-30 this year) to honor them.
“Being a CRNA is a challenging job, and it’s rewarding to help people through vulnerable times in their lives,” said Mark Swenson, a CRNA working locum tenens through Staff Care at an ambulatory surgery center in Sioux Falls, SD. “We deliver critical care in a fast-paced environment, applying a lot of critical thinking and troubleshooting in the process.”
Explaining the benefits of experiencing a case mix different than at his full-time job, Swenson observed, “It’s nice to earn supplemental income, and it’s also nice to go to other places and see what techniques and medications are being used.” He praised Staff Care for finding him the locations and types of cases he prefers.
Meanwhile, Shaun Rudi, a locum tenens CRNA based in Florida and on assignment with Staff Care, said he enjoys “connecting with [his] patients” during pre-op and administering the analgesia. “It’s our job to mitigate the fear,” Rudi said. “I like collaborating with other members of the surgical team.”
Having traveled to practice nurse anesthesia for four years, Rudi added that “every place has its own vibe or flow. ‘CRNA locums’ have to be flexible and remain ready to change gears.”
CRNAs and COVID-19
National CRNA Week this year coincided with two solemn anniversaries: on Jan. 21, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first COVID-19 case in the United States, and on Jan. 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a Global Public Health Emergency.
“In a matter of weeks the world changed, challenging clinicians nationwide with a public health disaster not seen in 100 years. Since the pandemic’s earliest days, tens of thousands of nurse anesthetists have cared for critically ill patients on the frontlines ,” according to the AANA.“ CRNAs’ unique training and expertise have allowed them to step forward in ways that few others can — particularly in advanced airway and ventilation management, vascular volume resuscitation, and advanced patient assessment.”
At the start of the pandemic, hospitals cancelled elective surgeries and furloughed CRNAs for several weeks. Both furloughed, locum tenens CRNAs Swenson and Rudi are now back to providing surgical anesthesia. Other CRNAs were reassigned to intensive care units to help manage the onslaught of critically ill COVID-19 patients.
“Demand has gone up significantly,” said Matthew Nichols, senior recruiting director, AMN Leadership Solutions, with Merritt Hawkins. Although opportunities for full-time CRNA positions exist throughout the country, Nichols said most CRNAs prefer staying in familiar territory, rather than moving great distances.
“We’re seeing a surge of recruitment requests,” Nichols said. “Nurse anesthetists are highly in demand.”
All News Is Locums
Healthcare Staffing Firm Acquires Vitruvian Medical
Just in time for National CRNA Week (January 24-30), healthcare staffing and workforce solutions company Health Carousel acquired Vitruvian Medical, a surgery and anesthesia locum tenens staffing company, the firm announced Jan. 14.
Headquartered in Houston, Vitruvian Medical will continue operating under its own brand name, but will be incorporated into the Health Carousel Locum Network.
“Vitruvian Medical is very excited to partner with an organization that shares our values of service and integrity, along with understanding the demands of, and need for, the locum tenens market,” Vitruvian founder Patrick McDermott said.
Did You Know? Vitruvian adopted the company’s name from one of the most well-known drawings by Leonardo da Vinci: the “Vitruvian Man,” symbolizing health, fitness and medicine. Created in 1490, this Renaissance drawing has become recognized worldwide as “a timeless symbol related to medicine,” according to the company’s website.
Weatherby Healthcare, part of the CHG Healthcare family of brands, has announced changes to its executive leadership team, promoting Senior Vice President Luke Woodyard to president of the company. Woodyard replaces Bill Heller, who was promoted to an executive vice president position within CHG Healthcare, CEO Scott Beck said.
Woodyard began his 17-plus years in healthcare staffing as an entry-level recruiter, ultimately becoming a leader in permanent placement, travel nursing, home health, and locum tenens staffing across multiple organizations.
Weatherby Healthcare named Mike DePaolis senior vice president of sales, with responsibility for overseeing Weatherby’s offices in North Carolina and Florida. The company also promoted Warren Wooley to senior vice president of people and culture.
Consilium Staffing has named Amy Gentile vice president for the Irving, Texas-based firm’s Behavioral Health Division. A Consilium founding partner with more than 16 years’ experience in healthcare staffing, Gentile was the company’s first client sales consultant and an original member of its behavioral health team.
“Amy has been integral to our company’s success as both a sales leader and a mentor to fellow associates,” Consilium Vice President Cullen Wall said.
All Star Healthcare Solutions has promoted Katie Escalante to vice president of sales.Escalante joined All Star Healthcare Solutions in 2015 as a consultant with more than a decadeof experience in healthcare staffing.
“Katie is an inspirational, dedicated, people-centric leader with a remarkable scope ofexperience. We are delighted to affirm her career growth with this promotion,” All StarHealthcare Solutions CEO Keith Shattuck said.
White House Move Stops Contractor Classification Rule
The White House has asked agencies to stop all non-emergency rulemaking and regulatoryactivity pending review by the new Administration. In effect, the memo will eliminate a final ruleon independent contractor classification, according to National Law Review.The rule wouldhave made it easier for companies in some states to classify workers as independentcontractors.
A new SIA report says COVID-19 will dominate global staffing through the first half of 2021, with global economic recovery gaining traction by summer. The report by John Nurthen, executive director of global research at SIA, indicates the market’s health will depend on the efficiency and efficacy of countries’ coronavirus vaccination programs.
Other trends include increased focus on diversity, increased competition from platform staffing models, and more remote workers across staffing firms going forward. Although the pandemic ‘will leave scars as labor markets heal,’ the International Monetary Fund forecasts global GDP to increase by 5.2% in 2021.
Along with continuing COVID-19 emphasis over the next several months, trends projected for 2021 include:
1. Summer recovery will not mean a return to “normal.” 2. Resilience despite a volatile and complex environment. 3. Diversity and inclusion as a top strategic concern. 4. Automation “on steroids.” 5. Investment in “reskilling” initiatives. 6. Platform models are the new battleground. 7. Development of “omni-channel staffing.” 8. Customer preference for direct sourcing affects demand. 9. Asia-Pacific markets accelerate faster than elsewhere.
“If there is one thing to learn from 2020 it is to expect the unexpected,” Nurthen writes in the report. The full report is available online for corporate SIA members.
With several “major players” and smart strategic decisions, North American healthcare staffing companies should comprise the largest share of the global healthcare staffing market over the next several years, according to the new report Healthcare Staffing Market Forecast to 2027 — COVID-19 Impact and Global Analysis . Compiled by New York-based Insight Partners, the report also projects significant growth in the Asian Pacific healthcare staffing market over the forecast period “because of faster recruitment procedures and a large patient pool.”
The global healthcare staffing market is expected to grow by more than a quintillion dollars over the next five years — from $ 28,545.73M ($2.9 Quintillion) in 2020 to $ 38,879.13M ($3.9 Quintillion) by the end of 2025, according to the report Healthcare Staffing Market Research Report by Service Type (Allied Healthcare, Locum Tenens, Per diem Nurse, and Travel Nurse), by End User (Clinics, Hospitals, and Nursing homes) – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19 , now available from ResearchAndMarkets.com .
Based on service type, the global healthcare staffing market is segmented into travel nurse, per diem nurse, locum tenens and allied healthcare. Based on end users, the market is segmented into hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and others.
Insight Partners expects higher workforce-solutions adoption — driven by both increased service demand and a shortage of experienced staff — to fuel healthcare-staffing-market growth between 2020 and 2027. Moreover, the company projects healthcare IT innovation and development in emerging nations will offer growth opportunities.
The report includes exhaustive political, economic, social and technological (PEST) analysis for North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East/Africa, and South/Central America.
Seattle-based, health-tech startup Saykara has received a 2021 BIG (Business Intelligence Group) Innovation Award for its voice assistant that uses conversational artificial intelligence to automate clinical charting. Named “Kara,” the assistant is accessible via a mobile app that extracts meaning and intent from what it hears, then populates both structured and narrative data to the electronic health record (EHR).
The platform is specialty-agnostic, scalable across any size enterprise, and available with a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription. It has been proven to eliminate after-hours charting, reduce overall charting time by up to 70%, and enhance documentation quality and completeness by an average 20%. Also, it fosters more personalized physician-patient interactions by eliminating the need for data entry during visits. For additional information, visit www.saykara.com .
5 Medical Apps for Physicians and Advanced Practitioners
(Edited from post by updated 12/7/2020 by John Menzies, vice president of technology, LocumTenens.com)
There’s an app for almost everything, including those designed for physicians and advanced practitioners. While many medical apps house similar information and tools, there’s usually something unique about each one. Here’s a look at five popular apps for clinicians.
App Store rating: 3.7/5 stars
Free to use, Medscape offers a variety of tools in a well-organized format. From a comprehensive list of drugs — with their dosages, interactions and warnings — to the latest guidelines, Medscape allows users to access the latest information quickly. Read news and procedure overviews, employ calculators on patient risk for certain conditions or diseases, and access guidelines through the app’s Decision Point Feature.
Known for its wealth of free CME opportunities, Medscape allows searching by CME topic — or for those who like to keep their CME credits separate from other resources, a CME-specific app called Medscape CME and Education, which is free to download.
Medscape’s primary user complaint is the advertisements, but considering all the free resources the app offers, it’s worth the download.
App Store rating: 4.7/5 stars
If you want high-quality diagnostic tools, drug information and patient-education resources without the advertisements prevalent with Medscape, Pepid is a good choice — if you’re willing to pay for a subscription. Sign up for a free, two-week trial period to check it out before you commit.
Like Medscape, Pepid lets you access a plethora of calculators, check drug interactions and follow relevant news and alerts, offering you CME credits while doing so. Among its most helpful, but potentially overlooked, features is the ability to take and save notes within the app — along with the option to ‘flag’ resources for later use.
Most user complaints about Pepid relate to how it displays on different devices. However, its developers respond to user complaints and constantly work to optimize performance. If you download, subscribe and need help, you’re likely to succeed there, as well.
App Store rating: 4.5/5 stars
An ‘elder’ among clinical apps, Epocrates offers clinical guidelines, drug and coverage information, and calculators. The app distinguishes itself, however, in its “upgraded” (for-pay) features — including lab and diagnostic data, ICD-10 codes, and alternative-treatment information.
Users generally appreciate Epocrates’ clear and concise delivery, which helps when one needs to find and digest something quickly.
Users’ biggest complaint is the app’s tendency to freeze after updates. Epocrates encourages users to email its customer support team if they continue to experience issues with the app.
App Store rating: 3.7/5
Primarily, a medical-image resource for ensuring diagnostic accuracy, VisualDx is a top choice for dermatologists. However, it’s popular among clinicians in a variety of specialties and settings. The app helps users visualize disease variations without resorting to search-engine images. Many physicians and advanced practitioners also find it helpful to use in patient education. Another plus? Users can earn CME credit by searching within the app.
While some users bemoan the app’s price, they can try before subscribing to the service, which costs comparably to its competitors.
App Store rating: 4.0/5
UpToDate is a clinical decision-support resource with easily accessible, regularly updated content on nearly 12,000 topics. According to the app’s website, UpToDate differentiates itself through return on investment: research indicating facilities where clinicians widely utilize the resource demonstrate improved patient care and better patient outcomes.
Similar to competing apps’ features, UpToDate users can earn CME credits while integrating the app’s data with routine workflow. Generally, the app’s developers address minor user complaints by commenting on app store reviews and through regular app updates.
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