During the week of Jan. 19 through the 25, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are celebrating over 150 years of anesthesia care across the United States. There are over 54,000 CRNAs currently practicing across the country providing safe, quality anesthesia care to our patients every day.

During CRNA Week, I would like to highlight the five ways CRNAs make a difference every day.

Safety - CRNAs are highly trained anesthesia professionals who safely provide over 49 million anesthetics to our patients.

Rural America - CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services. In Nebraska, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals.

Military - Nurses first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Since that time, nurse anesthetists have remained the primary providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines.

Practice settings - CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites; obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, pain management specialists; and any other facility in which a patient requires anesthesia care.

Cost-efficiency - Managed care plans recognize CRNAs for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies. This helps control the escalating healthcare costs across the United States.

During National CRNA Week, I wanted to thank you all for allowing us to provide anesthesia to you and your loved ones. It is an honor and a privilege to deliver safe anesthesia care to you, remain with you throughout your procedure, and ensuring your safety and returning you to your loved ones.

Kristin Rohde

Omaha

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