Nurse anesthetists in spotlight next weekNoting that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) were the first specialists to provide anesthesia care in the United States, Governor Mark Dayton has declared next week, January 20-26, as National Nurse Anesthetists Week in Minnesota.
Noting that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) were the first specialists to provide anesthesia care in the United States, Governor Mark Dayton has declared next week, January 20-26, as National Nurse Anesthetists Week in Minnesota.
A proclamation signed by Dayton also notes that more than a century ago nurses at the Mayo Clinic were instrumental in the development of modern anesthesia techniques
One of these nurses, Alice Magaw, was dubbed the “mother of anesthesia” by Dr. Charles Mayo for her significant contributions to the field of anesthesiology, according to John Hust, CRNA, MNA, president of the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA).
“She continuously helped refine and record the anesthesia innovations at the clinic from the late 19th into the early 20th century,” said Hust.
“In 1906, she published the results of her work in Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics, becoming one of the first persons who was not a physician to author an article in a medical journal,” he said.
The article, “A review of Over 14,000 Surgical Anesthetics” documented more than 14,000 anesthetic procedures without a single complication attributable to anesthesia.
Less than a decade later, nurse anesthetists volunteered to bring their new techniques to the front lines during World War I. Today CRNAs are the main hands-on provider of anesthesia care in both military and civilian settings. They are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, and the sole anesthesia providers in nearly 100 percent of all rural hospitals.
CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is administered. That includes, but is not limited to, hospital operating and delivery rooms; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons; pain management centers; and within the U.S. Military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.
CRNAs are Advanced Practice Nurses who must have completed a master’s degree program at an accredited anesthesia school. A CRNA candidate must also be a licensed registered nurse and have a least one year of experience in an acute care setting – such as an ICU or emergency room. Successful candidates must have a passed a national certification exam and obtain a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education every two years.
National Nurse Anesthetists Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to encourage CRNAs to educate the public about anesthesia safety and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from nurse anesthetists. The AANA is the professional organization for more than 45,000 nurse anesthetists.
About the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists
MANA, with nearly 1,400 members, represents the nurse anesthesia profession in Minnesota. More information on nurse anesthesia can be found on its website www.mnana.org or on the AANA website, www.aana.com.