Newswise — NASHVILLE—Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) announced it is expanding efforts to educate Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) on treatment options that reduce or eliminate the need for opioids during and after surgery.

The School will be accepting a second cohort for its Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship, in partnership with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). The application period is open Oct. 1 – Dec. 1. Classes begin in January 2018.

“At MTSA, we’re doing our part to help combat the opioid crisis by teaching CRNAs innovative techniques, including multimodal and interventional therapies, to manage acute surgical pain,” said MTSA President Chris Hulin, DNP, MBA, CRNA. “One way to accomplish this is to use ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, which blocks the pain at the point of surgical contact and often eliminates the need for prescription narcotics. If patients never have to take an opioid, they significantly reduce their risk of becoming addicted in the future.

“This year JAMA Surgery1 reported that in a study of 36,177 patients, 5.9-6.5 percent developed new ‘persistent opioid use’ following surgery. This is an area where we as CRNAs can have a significant role in mitigating opioid dependency,” Hulin said.

In addition to the Fellowship, MTSA continues to collaborate on a national level with lectures, workshops and other joint efforts that are helping provide solutions to the opioid epidemic. These efforts improve both patient safety and satisfaction while minimizing opioid-related adverse drug events.

CRNAs Respond to a Growing Need
As the baby boomer generation ages, increasing numbers of patients will undergo surgery, and CRNAs will be responsible for managing these patients’ acute surgical pain. The Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship equips CRNAs with the necessary knowledge and skill-sets to meet this growing demand. From medical management approaches, such as multimodal therapies and opioid sparing strategies, to advanced interventional techniques, including continuous catheter utilization, CRNAs are able to treat these patients with confidence and skill, according to Hulin.

“Our goal is to stay on the cutting edge and continue to raise awareness among healthcare providers across the nation that, in many cases, opioid-free surgery is a reality today. Ultimately, this will equate to reduced opioid dependency, which decreases the likelihood of opioid-related deaths,” Hulin added.

For more information on MTSA’s efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, visit www.mtsa/opioids.

About the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship
The ASPM Fellowship consists of a classroom component offered via distance education (didactic education) and a clinical component (proctored hands-on clinical experience offered through one or more clinical sites). Fellows will learn innovative techniques including multimodal and interventional therapies to manage acute surgical pain, while developing business management proficiency.

Topics of study include:

  • Legal, ethical, and professional issues related to acute surgical pain management
  • Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of acute surgical pain
  • Non-allopathic considerations for acute surgical pain management
  • Physiological aspects of pain
  • Assessment and evaluation of the patient with acute surgical pain
  • Pharmacogenetics, dynamics, and kinetics related to acute surgical pain management
  • Technical interventions for the management of acute pain
  • Foundations of initiating an acute pain service
  • Business fundamentals in acute pain management

For more information on the ASPM Fellowship, visit www.mtsa/fellowship.

About Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia
Founded in 1950, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia provides graduate-level education and training of nurse anesthetists in a Christian environment born of its Seventh-day Adventist heritage. MTSA is the only independent, fully accredited anesthesia institution of its kind in the nation, instilling excellence through innovative and diverse clinical experience. A leader in academic, clinical, and professional distinction, MTSA is responsive to the needs of its constituents, providing affordable graduate education for students from diverse backgrounds. The campus is located in Madison, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville.

MTSA provides a highly specialized academic environment, integrating the latest research, hands-on clinical practice, and one-on-one support in a unique graduate education setting. Its reputation for excellence attracts student nurse anesthetists who are motivated to improve patient outcomes and serve others through their profession.

About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit and and follow @aanawebupdates on Twitter.

1 JAMA Surgery source: