Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA)— The anesthesia delivery profession continues to face an on-going shortage of providers. Recognizing that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) make up an increasing share of this workforce, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists recently concluded a study to understand job satisfaction among CRNAs on a deeper level.

The study, “Work patterns, socio-demographic characteristics and job satisfaction of the CRNA workforce,” published in Nursing Outlook, examined the level of job satisfaction among a representative sample of CRNAs. It found that overwhelming majority of CRNAs, 89%, are either “very satisfied” (48%) or “somewhat satisfied” (41%) with their current job. The study compared that data with responses addressing hours of work, number of procedures performed during a typical day, compensation, and other workforce parameters including practice model type and the desire for educational and clinical opportunities. It found lower satisfaction ratings among CRNAs who worked longer hours.

“Understanding  job  satisfaction  among  CRNAs requires a deeper analysis of how it is associated with anesthesia delivery models and the variable levels of autonomy and skill variety they may offer,” said Lorraine Jordan, PhD, CRNA, CAE, AANA chief advocacy officer and co-author of the study. “Our survey is representative for the current CRNA workforce, and therefore it allows us to obtain rigorous and up-to-date estimates for a large number of relationships between work-related factors and the CRNAs’ job satisfaction.”

The study found that CRNAs practicing independently are more likely to be very satisfied with their job. Governors in 19 states have opted out of the federal physician supervision requirement. In addition, CRNAs have full practice authority in all branches of the military.

“With greater job autonomy and skill variety associated with higher job satisfaction, it will be important for facilities to encourage delivery models that do not overly restrict scope of practice,” said Jordan. “CRNAs who are allowed to make the best use of their education and training are more satisfied.”

CRNAs who were not satisfied with their job expressed a desire to refresh their education or learn new skills. For example, 58% of the CRNAs who are “somewhat dissatisfied” with their job would seek additional education and clinical experience with the administration of peripheral nerve blocks. 

“The fact that large numbers of CRNAs express a preference to refresh important skills may also indicate shortages of CRNAs with such skills. This maybe be driven by changes where CRNAs work, including new responsibilities at those facilities,” Jordan said.

The survey was launched March through April 2019. It was conducted by the Lewin Group and funded by the AANA Foundation.

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