Duties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Duties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Duties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

Duties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists

The duties of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is to provides anesthesia services in the same manner as a medical doctor who trained as an anesthesiologist. It is a licensed professional nurse who has become nationally certified to practice as an anesthetist after completing education and training. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists started practicing in 1956 and administer anesthesia to more than 32 million patients annually. They are the highest paid professionals in the nursing field, and they work closely with surgeons, other anesthesiologists, dentists and podiatrists.

Many CRNAs are the only professionals available to administer anesthesia in rural areas, and work with 100 percent autonomy. Studies show that there is no difference between the care provided by a CNRA than by a physician anesthesiologist.

Job Duties and Responsibilities of a CRNA

The Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist delivers anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures. They work with patients before, during, and after surgery. These duties include assessing the patient before the surgery; preparing for managing, administration and maintenance of the anesthesia during the surgery; overseeing post-operative recovery from anesthesia; and following the patient through the entire post-operative recovery procedure. A professional in the field generally provides care for one patient at a time, rather than juggling multiple anesthesia patients.

The practice of anesthesia includes all techniques of the field, including general anesthesia delivery, epidurals, sedation’s, peripheral nerve blocks, spinal anesthesia, and local anesthesia. Local states and medical providers further define the duties of the professional. Further, in 2001 a rule published in the Federal Register by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services allowed states to exempt the CRNA from physician oversight, and to date 16 states have done so and developed their own requirements.

Educational Requirements for a CRNA

A career in the field starts with earning a bachelor’s in nursing degree, and then obtaining a master’s degree in nurse anesthesia. In order to be accepted in a master’s degree program the nurse needs to have at least one year of experience in an acute care environment. After completing all required coursework, a certification examination is required in order to attain the designation of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.

CRNA’s must be re-certified every two years, and obtain 40 hours of approved continuing education. At that time they must also certify that they have not developed medical or mental conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice.

There are many professional opportunities for CRNA’s, so if you are interested, it is a great time to get your certification!

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