March 31, 2020
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National CRNA Week sheds light on ‘The Future of Anesthesia Care Today’

Community Author: Susan DeCarlo-Piccirillo, CRNA, APRN, DNP
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BANGOR — Nurse anesthetists across the country will educate the public about advancements in anesthesia patient safety and the role and value of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in delivering anesthesia care in today’s — and tomorrow’s — U.S. healthcare system during the 21st annual National CRNA Week observance Jan. 19-25, 2020.

The public education theme, “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today,” reflects the fact that nearly 54,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists provide more than 49 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year, delivering the same safe, high-quality anesthesia care as other anesthesia professionals but at a lower cost, helping to control the nation’s rising healthcare costs.

Currently, there are over 350 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists in Maine. CRNAs practice in over 30 hospitals and many office-based procedural locations to provide anesthesia for the people of Maine. Every day, CRNAs deliver essential healthcare in our communities and are able to prevent gaps in access to anesthesia services. Today, CRNAs are the primary anesthesia providers in many rural and critical access hospitals across the state.

“While 2020 marks the 21st year for National CRNA Week, the nurse anesthesia profession actually began more than 150 years ago during the American Civil War. Since then, we have taken great pride in administering safe, high-quality anesthesia with the level of care and compassion that is synonymous with being a nurse,” said Susan DeCarlo-Piccirillo, CRNA, APRN, DNP “In today’s healthcare climate, CRNAs are the key to the future of anesthesia care, as there is an increasing demand for highly qualified, non-MD/DO healthcare specialists who can ensure access to patient care that is both extremely safe and cost-effective. Through this campaign, we aim to highlight the valuable role that CRNAs play today and will continue to play tomorrow.” For example, CRNAs have the education and training to help combat the opioid crisis through the use of opioid free anesthesia and regional anesthesia techniques. Each year, the Maine Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MeANA) raises monies and awareness for one pressing cause facing our state. Just this year MeANA, working once again with Healthy Acadia, a non-profit community organization serving the Hancock and Washington County communities raised over $12,000 towards the Down-East Recovery Support fund. This fund targets those individuals suffering from opioid use disorder who are struggling to transition back into their communities as productive Maine citizens.

For more information about the AANA’s public education campaign, recent landmark research studies confirming the safety and value of CRNAs, infographics, fact sheets and more, visit future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com.

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization for the nation’s nearly 54,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists. The AANA advances patient safety and the CRNA profession through excellence in practice and service to members. As anesthesia professionals, CRNAs safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients each year. Learn more at aana.com or meana.org.