Each January, the healthcare community celebrates CRNA Week to recognize the vital contributions made by the nearly 59,000 CRNAs who safely administer more than 50 million anesthetics to US patients each year. This year’s event falls during the week of January 24, at the height of the latest coronavirus surge.
We Salute You
As a provider of locum tenens CRNAs to client healthcare facilities, Interim Physicians is proud this week to honor nurse anesthetists across the country. We offer special recognition to the CRNAs who partner with us to provide temporary anesthesia services wherever they are needed. We sincerely thank you for your service and your sacrifices under challenging circumstances.
We’d like to give a special shoutout to one of our locum tenens CRNAs, Ann Lapacinski. Ann has worked with Interim Physicians since November 2020 and has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to take on extra shifts at our client facilities in Wisconsin whenever anesthesia care is needed. As her recruiter, Joey Bradshaw says, Ann is everything you’d ever want in a healthcare professional. She is friendly, personable, and always responds quickly. She is a consummate professional, and we are fortunate to have her as a locums provider.
For nearly two years of the pandemic, CRNAs have been under extreme pressure to maintain quality patient care at a time when healthcare workers are overworked and suffering burnout. Not surprisingly, COVID-19 has upended the traditional practice of healthcare services.
A recent survey by the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology exploring the impact of the pandemic on CRNA practice found that 16% of CRNAs who responded to the survey “reported practice expansion beyond their normal responsibilities, primarily outside the operating room and involving tracheal intubation, ventilator management, arterial line placement, and central line placement” because of COVID-19. This was most common in the handful of states that removed regulatory barriers to increased CRNA autonomy.
Changes are Gonna Come
While COVID continues to complicate anesthesia delivery, the future seems bright for the CRNA profession. In 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that “employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 45 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.”
And it’s not just the number of CRNAs that will be growing. An increasing number of states are considering allowing CRNAs to practice without physician supervision or have already passed such laws.
Another recent study highlights several areas in which technology used by CRNAs will shift or become more important, including:
- Automation in anesthetic delivery
- Non-invasive monitoring
- Telemedicine and telehealth
- Digital information management systems
As we enter a third pandemic year, it sounds like a great time to become a CRNA.