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National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

Posted on Mon, Jan 25, 2016
National CRNA Week: Our Growing Role, Especially in Rural Hospitals

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

By Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA

America’s rural hospitals are struggling. It seems that I read news of a hospital closure nearly every week. One way that financially strapped hospitals are working to deliver quality care more economically is through the use of advanced practice registered nurses, specifically Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs).

CRNAs, the primary providers of anesthesia services in rural America, provide the majority of anesthesia care in U.S. counties with lower-income populations and populations that are more likely to be uninsured or unemployed, according to Nursing Economic$.

About CRNAs

CRNAs administer approximately 40 million anesthetics each year in the United States, according to the AANA’s 2014 Practice Profile Survey. The industry began credentialing registered nurse anesthetists in 1956.

CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other qualified providers. They are responsible for patient safety before, during and after surgery. Nurse anesthetists administer every type of anesthesia to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. CRNAs provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions during surgical, obstetrical and other medical procedures. CRNAs monitor and interpret diagnostic information throughout the course of a patient’s procedure.

Typically, the requirements to be a CRNA are:
 

  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate bachelor’s degree
  • A current license as a registered nurse
  • At least one year’s experience as a registered nurse in a critical care setting
  • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program
  • Pass the National Certification Examination following graduation.

To be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice.

Job Outlook

Due to increased financial pressure on hospitals, there is a significant and growing need for CRNAs across the country. A 31 percent growth rate is predicted over the next decade, according to nursejournal.org.

EmCare employs CRNAs in facilities across the country. They are valued members of our clinical team, and our integrated care approach enables CRNAs to practice at the top of their licenses.

EmCare supports CRNAs in a variety of ways, including:
 
  • Leadership, teaching and mentoring opportunities
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Earn While You Learn, a program that provides a monthly stipend to providers completing a CRNA program

During National CRNA Week – January 24-30, 2016 – We will recognize some of the amazing men and women providing care in this important clinical role. Visit EmCare’s Facebook page to learn more about our CRNA superstars.

Linda Caccamo

Linda Caccamo, CRNA, MS, MBA/MHA, is Senior Vice President of Operations for EmCare Anesthesia Services. Caccamo received her master’s degree in anesthesiology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and combined MBA/MHA from Wilmington University in Delaware. In her current role, she offers supervision and support for anesthesia site medical directors and professional staff. Before joining EmCare, she served as an executive director for a large anesthesia group practice at a Level 1 regional referral center. She is a former instructor for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) and has earned a Black Belt Certification in Lean Methodology for Healthcare. She has served on numerous professional and state level committees and continues to practice anesthesia as an anesthetist in EmCare’s North Division.

 

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Comments
Jordan
Some great points here. I had no idea there was a CRNA week! Glad that there's a week dedicated to these great professionals.
1/27/2016 7:25:16 AM