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An Anesthesiologist Assistant & Nurse Anesthetist

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JCole View Drop Down
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Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Location: United States
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    Posted: 02 Sep 2009 at 12:32pm
An Anesthesiologist Assistant And Nurse Anesthetist Discussion

It seems that some CRNA's are afraid of the competition Anesthesiologist Assistant's pose to them in the future. After all, now that Nurses can practice Anesthesia independently and convinced our legislators they can do it all only cheaper why would they want another provider (AA's) to mess with this success? Anesthesiologist Assistant's represent another group of providers that take work AWAY from their members. In short, CRNA's dislike the very concept of Anesthesiologist Assistants not because of the "Anesthesia Care Team Approach" but because AA's hurt the AANA's agenda.

Anesthesiologist Assistant's are EQUAL to CRNA's in many ways. CRNA's dislike Anesthesiologist Assistant's as a group (not individually) and this creates disharmony (initially anyway).

So, some CRNA's will resort to just about anything to stop AA's from gaining any ground in the marketplace.  Where I have seen this the most is on multiple message boards where many CRNA's spread false information regarding AA's so prospective AA's students become confused.

Another Comment...

Major Medical Center Anesthesia Departments are run by DOCTORS and not Nurses. Thus, the MDA's CONTROL who works at the hospital. They can choose CRNA's or AA's to work for them. This is called a Group usually with a contract to provide Anesthesia services.

CRNA's and AA's are EMPLOYED by the Group which pays everyone. The Group (owned by the MDA's) decides whether to hire a CRNA or AA. Both represent a "billing opportunity" to the Group. Thus, CRNA's provide the majority of revenue for Groups across the country. Based on current law, CRNA's may generate MORE money for the Group depending on the location and types of cases. Usually, this is just a small percentage of cases that CRNA's can do "alone" so Anesthesiologist Assistants are utilized in the main operating room locations.


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