Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists | Collaboration | Practice Settings | Liability | Education

Office Surgery and Anesthesia:
A Growing Demand

Surgery and anesthesia provided in an office setting is a safe alternative to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASC's)

There are many reasons why more and more patients are choosing the office setting: access to care, lower costs, efficiency, confidentiality, and comfort with the surroundings.

Today, plastic surgeons, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, dentists, and other specialists provide surgical and other services in office settings - services that used to be available only in hospitals and ASC's. Working closely with a qualified anesthesia professional, such as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or an anesthesiologist, these practitioners enable their patients to safely and comfortably undergo procedures as complex as liposuction, face lifts, breast augmentation, lithotripsy, and arthroscopic knee surgery, dental work and oral surgery.

Nurse Anesthetists at a Glance

Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care in the United States for over 100 years. More than 90% of this country's nurse anesthetists are members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA's), like Nancy Beckman, provide anesthetics to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified health care professionals in hospitals, ambulatory care facilities, and in the office setting.

CRNA's provide anesthetics to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified healthcare professionals.

As advanced practice nurses, CRNA's practice with a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. They carry a heavy load of responsibility and are compensated accordingly.

CRNA's 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, and plastic surgeons; and U.S. Military, Public Health Services and Veterans Administration healthcare facilities. Managed care plans recognize CRNA's for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies. The cost-efficiency of CRNA's helps control escalating healthcare costs.

Since 1988, nurse anesthetist professional liability premiums have decreased across the country. Legislation passed by Congress in 1986 made nurse anesthetists the first nursing specialty to be accorded direct reimbursement rights under the Medicare program. A total of 45% of the nation's 30,000 CRNA's are men, versus approximately 5 percent in the nursing profession as a whole.

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.
  • Graduation from an accredited graduate school of nurse anesthesia. There are 88 nurse anesthesia educational programs in the United States. They range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements, and offer a master's degree.
  • All programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals.
  • Pass a national certification examination following graduation.

For further information:

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