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CRNA's Take From Shrinking Nursing Pool

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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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    Posted: 30 Aug 2009 at 12:53pm
A CRNA SAID..."At the end of the day, give me a CRNA with that knowledge, training, ability, capability, competency and legal authority over a doctors assistant any day no matter who is roaming the hallway outside the OR.  Equal? Not even close"

I find this kind of ironic. Years ago the US military started training nurse practitioners to "extend physicians." Then they realized for every nurse they took off the wards, they had one less nurse. So they closed down most of the NP programs and went with PA programs. Now there are a ton of PAs in the military and few NPs by comparison. When it comes to giving orders, depending upon the relationship, the CRNA must take orders, medical orders from the PA.

In the civilian world, we have a like situation where there are not enough general duty nurses to fill the needs.

Sooner or later Congress is going to realize that for every nurse they fund to go into anesthesia, they short a nurse on the wards.

They also will realize going the Physician Assistant (PA), Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) route makes sense. Keep the nurses in general duty nursing where they are needed.

And once again, using the fact that CRNAs can practice independently when you are talking about AAs working under MDAs is comparing apples and oranges. If only 20% of CRNAs work independently, their jobs are not at risk from Anesthesiologist Assistants. It is the 80% of CRNAs who work with MDAs that are worried. And those make up the vast majority of the AANA.

I am a CRNA. There is an anesthesia shortage coming and Anesthesiologist Assistants are a part of the solution. I have no fear of my job and welcome the "competition" or should I call it a future collaboration?

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