January 15, 2013 Dear Editor/News Director



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January 15, 2013

Dear Editor/News Director:

Minnesota’s nurse anesthetists will be joining their colleagues across the country to celebrate the 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week, Jan. 20-26.
One of the state’s most significant but lesser known contributions to healthcare is the development of modern anesthesia techniques at the Mayo Clinic at the turn of the last century. Without safe and effective anesthesia to render patients immobile and free from pain, surgeons around the world would not have been able to perform many of the miracles we now take for granted: transplants, re attached limbs, and heart surgery, just to name a few.
National Nurse Anesthetists Week was established to recognize the profession which first perfected these techniques, and to educate the public about anesthesia safety and the benefits of receiving anesthesia from a nurse anesthetist. Among one of the most influential early nurse anesthetists was Mayo Clinic nurse Alice Magaw, upon whom Dr. Charles Mayo bestowed the name, “mother of anesthesia.”
We invite you to share the attached story of nurse anesthesia with your audience, some of whom may be interested in Minnesota’s pivotal role in anesthesia or have a general interest in health care. We have provided links for your audience to find additional information on nurse anesthesia. Our package includes:


  • A fact sheet on the nurse anesthesia profession

  • Three news releases about National Nurse Anesthetists Week

  • A Q & A about anesthesia, and the nurse anesthetists who provide it.

Please feel free to include National Nurse Anesthetists Week in your community calendar.

If you need more information or assistance, please contact Marcus Kessler at 651 690 0897 or marcuskesslerpr@comcast.net or call our office at 952-928-4652.

Sincerely,

John Hust, CRNA, MNA

President, Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists

 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) at a Glance


CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 33 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2011 Practice Profile Survey.
CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia professionals give anesthesia the same way.
CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management, and trauma stabilization services. In some states like Minnesota, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100 percent of the rural hospitals.
CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.

Nurses first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States ever since – nearly 150 years. Since WWI, nurse anesthetists have been the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines, including current conflicts in the Middle East.

Legislation passed by Congress in 1986 made nurse anesthetists the first nursing specialty to be accorded direct reimbursement rights under the Medicare program.
In 2001, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a rule that gave states the option of allowing CRNAs to receive Medicare reimbursement when they provide anesthesia independently of a physician. The change grants more flexibility to hospitals and ambulatory centers to provide services, particularly in rural areas where anesthesia is provided almost exclusively by nurse anesthetists. To date, 17 states have exercised this option. Kentucky, in April 2012, was the most recent state to “opt out.”
Education and experience required to become a CRNA include:


  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree.

  • A current license as a registered nurse.

  • At least one year of experience as a registered nurse in an acute care setting.

  • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program

  • Pass the national certification examination following graduation.

In order to be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years; document substantial anesthesia practice; maintain current state licensure; and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice anesthesia.


As of June 2012, there were 112 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing more than 1,850 approved clinical sites. These programs range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements. All programs include clinical training in university based or large community hospitals.

Four of these graduate nurse anesthesia programs are in Minnesota: the Mayo School of Health Sciences, Rochester; the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, St. Louis Park; St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis; and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Minnesota nurse Alice Magaw is widely regarded as “The Mother of Anesthesia” for her innovations in the field of anesthesiology, beginning in the late 1800s. Hundreds of nurses and physicians from the United States and throughout the world came to the Mayo Clinic, where Magaw worked, to observe and learn these anesthesia techniques, which made anesthesia safer than ever before. In 1906, Magaw published the seminal “A Review of Over 14,000 Surgical Anesthetics” in Surgery, Gynecology, and Obstetrics, documenting more than 14,000 anesthetic procedures without a single complication attributable to anesthesia.
According to a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia care is nearly 50 times safer than it was in the early 1980s. Numerous outcomes studies have demonstrated that there is no difference in the quality of care provided by CRNAs and their physician counterparts.*
Nationally, the average 2012 malpractice premium for self-employed CRNAs was 33 percent lower than in 1988 (62 percent lower when adjusted for inflation). 
Managed care plans recognize CRNAs for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies. The cost-efficiency of CRNAs helps control escalating healthcare costs.
More than 45,000 of the nation’s nurse anesthetists (including CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists) are members of the AANA (or, greater than 90 percent of all U.S. nurse anesthetists). More than 40 percent of nurse anesthetists are men, compared with less than 10 percent of nursing as a whole.
* * *
*For a copy of Quality of Care in Anesthesia, go to www.aana.com> Resources> Practice Documents.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Minnesota’s Nurse Anesthetists Providing Patient Care Extraordinaire

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 15, 2013) — In recognition of their profession’s commitment to exceptional patient care, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Minnesota and across the country are celebrating the 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week, Jan. 20 26, 2013.

The theme of this year’s campaign, “Patient Care Extraordinaire,” emphasizes the high standards to which CRNAs adhere when administering anesthesia, said John Hust, CRNA, MNA, president of the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA).
“One of the many rewards of being a nurse anesthetist is providing patients with the comfort of knowing that I will be by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics to ensure a pain free and safe anesthesia experience,” said Hust. “National Nurse Anesthetists Week serves as an opportunity to inform the public exactly what CRNAs do and who we are.”
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer approximately 33 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting where anesthesia is available, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in the vast majority of rural hospitals and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. service men and women on the front lines since World War I.
According to Hust, nurse anesthetists have been at the forefront of anesthesia patient safety for 150 years. CRNAs play a key role in developing trends related to monitoring technology, anesthetic drugs, and standards of care.
“In fact, due to continuing research and education, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was 20 years ago,” he said.

National Nurse Anesthetists Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity 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.


# # #
For more information, contact Marcus Kessler at 651-690-0897 or marcuskesslerpr@comcast.net.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Minnesota’s Nurse Anesthetists Celebrate 150 Years of Providing Quality and Excellence in Anesthesia Care

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 15, 2013)— Nurse anesthesia’s long history and enduring record of patient safety is being recognized by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in Minnesota and across the country during the 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week, Jan. 20-26, 2013.


“I take pride in belonging to a profession that has been at the forefront of anesthesia patient safety for 150 years,” said John Hust, CRNA, MNA, president of the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA).
“CRNAs play a key role in developing trends related to monitoring technology, anesthetic drugs, and standards of care. In fact, due to continuing research and education, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was 20 years ago,” he said.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer approximately 33 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting where anesthesia is available, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in the vast majority of rural hospitals and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. service men and women on the front lines since World War I.

“One of the many rewards of being a nurse anesthetist is providing patients with the comfort of knowing that I will be by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics to ensure a pain free and safe anesthesia experience,” said Hust.
National Nurse Anesthetists Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity 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.


# # #
For more information, contact Marcus Kessler at 651-690-0897 or marcuskesslerpr@comcast.net.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Minnesota’s Nurse Anesthetists: Always There, Caring for America

MINNEAPOLIS (Jan. 15, 2013) — Administering anesthesia across the United States for 150 years, Minnesota’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and thousands of their colleagues around the country are celebrating this year’s 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week campaign, Jan. 20–26, 2013.


“With a history spanning back to the Civil War, nurse anesthetists have helped ensure that millions of patients receive the safest anesthesia care possible,” said the president of the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA), John Hust, CRNA, MNA.

“Year in and year out, nurse anesthetists have remained at the head of the table for every moment of their patients’ procedures, administering their anesthetics and monitoring their vital signs,” added Hust.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who administer approximately 33 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is available, CRNAs practice with a great deal of autonomy, and are the sole anesthesia professionals in the vast majority of rural hospitals.
As the main hands-on provider of anesthesia care in both military and civilian settings, 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.
“As CRNAs we administer anesthesia to patients undergoing cardiac, neurological, oral, and labor and delivery surgeries just to name a few,” said Hust.
“Regardless of the setting, we apply the same high standards of care. It is a privilege to be a part of a profession that is dedicated to providing a safe anesthetic and has historically played a pivotal role in every facet of anesthesia advancement,” he added.
National Nurse Anesthetist Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity to educate the public about anesthesia safety and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from a nurse anesthetist.
About the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists

MANA, with nearly 1,400 members, represents the nurse anesthesia profession in Minnesota. To learn more about nurse anesthesia, visit www.mnana.org or www.aana.com.


# # #

For more information, contact Marcus Kessler at 651-690-0897 or marcuskesslerpr@comcast.net


Anesthesia Q&A
by
John Hust, CRNA, MNA

President, Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists





Q:

Is anesthesia safe?


A:

According to a 1999 report released by the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was in the early 1980s. New monitoring technologies and drugs, increased education, and more extensive professional standards have made the administration of anesthesia one of the safest aspects of a surgical or obstetrical procedure.


Q:

Who administers anesthesia?


A:

In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist. CRNAs are advanced practice nurses with specialized graduate level education in anesthesiology. For 150 years, nurse anesthetists have been administering anesthesia in all types of surgical cases, using all anesthetic techniques and practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is administered.


Q:

Will my nurse anesthetist stay with me throughout my surgery?


A:

Your nurse anesthetist stays with you for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important function of your body and individually modifying your anesthetic to ensure your maximum safety and comfort.



Q:

Are there different types of anesthesia?


A:

There are three basic types of anesthesia: General anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body; regional anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body; and local anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a small, specific area of the body.


Q:

What determines which type of anesthesia is best for me?


A:

The anesthesia chosen for you is based on factors such as your physical condition, the nature of the surgery, and your reactions to medications.


Q:

Do different types of patients require different types of anesthesia?


A:

Many factors go into determining the best anesthetic and administration technique for each person. Pregnant patients, children, older adults and patients with hereditary disorders such as diabetes or sickle cell anemia all require special consideration. Even lifestyle choices such as the use of complementary and alternative medicines, tobacco, or alcohol can influence the anesthesia selection process.


Q:

Why haven’t I heard about CRNAs? Are you a new profession?


A:

Nurse anesthesia was established in the late 1800s as the first clinical nursing specialty in response to the growing need surgeons had for anesthetists. Nurse anesthetists, pioneers in anesthesia, have been administering anesthesia for nearly 150 years and have played significant roles in developing the practice. Minnesota’s own Mayo Clinic is widely considered to be the site of some of the most significant developments in the birth of modern anesthesia at the turn of the last century. Dr. Charles Mayo honored his chief anesthetist, nurse Alice Magaw, by calling her the “mother of anesthesia” for her leadership in developing and documenting the new techniques.



Q:

What is the difference between a CRNA and an anesthesiologist?


A:

The most substantial difference between CRNAs and anesthesiologists is that prior to anesthesia education, anesthesiologists receive medical education while CRNAs receive nursing education. However, the anesthesia part of the education is very similar for both providers. They are both educated to use the same anesthesia process in the provision of anesthesia and related services, and both adhere to the same standards of patient care. The bottom line is you don’t have to be a physician to administer anesthesia.


Q:

Tell me what to expect when I go for my anesthesia?


A:

During the procedure, anesthesia allows you to be free of pain. All anesthesia care is provided with the highest degree of professionalism, including constant monitoring of every important body function. CRNAs not only play a key role in the procedure itself, they also make many preparations for the patient before surgery. So it is important that patients take an active role in these preparations by communicating and cooperating with their nurse anesthetist and surgeon. For example, frank and open discussion with the nurse anesthetist is key in the selection of the best anesthetic. In particular, the patient must speak freely and follow instructions closely regarding the intake of medications, food, or beverages before anesthesia. Such substances can react negatively with anesthetic drugs and chemicals.


Q:

What educational qualifications must all CRNAs have?



A:

As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs receive their specialty anesthesia education in more than 100 accredited graduate programs offering a master's or doctorate degree. Admission requirements include a BSN or other appropriate baccalaureate degree, an RN license, and a minimum of one year of acute care nursing experience. The anesthesia curriculum covers advanced anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology; biochemistry and physics related to anesthesia; advanced pharmacology; and principles of anesthesia practice, plus hours of hands-on experience in a variety of cases and techniques. Upon graduation from an accredited program of nurse anesthesia education, the individual must successfully pass a national certification exam to hold the CRNA credential. Thereafter, the CRNA is committed to lifelong learning, with one requirement being 40 Continuing Education hours every two years for recertification. From the commencement of the professional education in nursing, a minimum of seven years of education and training is involved in the preparation of a CRNA.


Q:

Are there any graduate nurse anesthesia programs in Minnesota?


A:

There are four accredited graduate nurse anesthesia programs in Minnesota. Three of them provide master’s level education: the Mayo School of Health Sciences, Rochester; the Minneapolis School of Anesthesia, St. Louis Park; and St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis. The fourth program at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, provides a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) in anesthesia.

Q:


Where can consumers get more information about anesthesia?


A:

Consumers are encouraged to call the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists at (847) 692-7050, or visit the AANA websites at www.aana.com and www.PatientCareExtraordinaire.com.




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