BANGOR – “Relax and dream a little dream with us” is the mantra of Maine’s 247 certified registered nurse anesthetists and those across the country who will celebrate the 10th National Nurse Anesthetists Week Jan. 25-31.
“National Nurse Anesthetist Week serves as an opportunity to promote the fact that throughout history, nurse anesthetists have furthered the art of science and nurse anesthesia to ensure patients receive high quality anesthesia care,” said Vance Wormwood, president of the Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists. “Dreaming a little dream is exactly what patients can do, knowing that a CRNA is by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics during the entire time they are asleep – we will handle the rest.”
Established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in 2000, National Nurse Anesthetists Week was highlights the nurse anesthesia profession and allows CRNAs to educate the public about anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from nurse anesthetists.
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer some 30 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting where anesthesia is available, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in almost all rural hospitals, and have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. servicemen and women on the front lines since World War I.
Many CRNAs in Maine work in a team practice setting with anesthesiologists. Working in a team setting or solo, CRNAs and anesthesiologists have built a reputation for safety and quality care, according to association officials.
“I take pride in belonging to a profession that has been at the forefront of anesthesia patient safety for nearly 150 years. Nurse anesthetists have played a key role in developing trends related to monitoring technology, anesthetic drugs, provider education and patient safety. In fact, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was just 25 years ago,” said Wormwood.
Founded in 1931, the association is the professional organization for more than 39,000 nurse anesthetists. For more information, visit www.aana.com/nnawpublic.aspx.