Newswise — PARK RIDGE, Illinois—Calling nurse anesthetists “essential to America’s healthcare system” for providing high-quality, cost-effective anesthesia care to tens of millions of patients each year, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), and Sam Graves (R-MO) today introduced a bipartisan resolution on the House floor to honor the nation’s 53,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) during the 20th annual National CRNA Week, Jan. 20-26, 2019.
“On behalf of our country, today I am expressing gratitude for the role nurse anesthetists play in our healthcare system,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Across Illinois and the nation, patients expect high quality care and nurse anesthetists deliver. I am proud to introduce this resolution with my colleagues to honor them for their service and their continued care nationwide.”
The legislation resolved that “the House of Representatives thanks and promotes the profession of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists by encouraging patients, hospital administrators, healthcare professionals, policymakers, and others to become more familiar with the CRNA credential and the exceptional healthcare professionals who have earned it by participating in National CRNA Week.”
“I am proud to co-lead this resolution saluting our nation’s 53,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists for the expertise and compassion they provide to millions of patients in need of anesthesia each year,” said Rep. Roybal-Allard. “Decades of research have shown that nurse anesthetists provide the same safe and high-quality anesthesia care as other medical professionals, but at a significantly lower cost to our healthcare system. In districts across the country, including urban settings like my 40th Congressional District of California, nurse anesthetists are a cost-effective method of helping to curb escalating health care prices.”
The resolution outlined the role, value and history of CRNAs in the U.S. healthcare system, noting that the profession got its start more than 150 years ago when nurse anesthetists became the nation’s first anesthesia specialists. Nurses first gave anesthesia to wounded soldiers on the battlefields of the American Civil War.
Today, CRNAs practice in every type of healthcare setting in which anesthesia is delivered, the resolution stated. They safely deliver more than 45 million anesthetics to patients each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, trauma stabilization, and pain management services.
“Nurse anesthetists play a critical role in rural healthcare,” said Rep. Graves. “North Missouri healthcare facilities depend on the high-quality care that they provide at a low cost. I’m grateful for the important work they do in my district and around the country.”
The resolution further noted that CRNAs have been the main provider of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines since WWI, including all current U.S. military actions around the globe.
“CRNAs are passionate about providing the best possible patient care,” said Garry Brydges, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC, CRNA, FAAN, president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). “Day in and day out, the safe, high-quality, cost-effective anesthesia care delivered by CRNAs ensures patients across the U.S. access to the surgical, obstetrical, emergency, and chronic pain services they need. So it truly is humbling to be recognized by the House of Representatives for doing what we love to do and for doing it well.”
About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The AANA is the professional association representing the nation’s CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists. Founded in 1931, it is located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C. To learn more about CRNAs and anesthesia care, visit www.aana.com and www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com.