Updated Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice Released

As part of its ongoing work, the Practice Committee reviewed the Scope and Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice. Due to the robust nature of this document, priority was given to the Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice. A quantitative literature analysis was used to ensure that the standards reflect current standards of anesthesia practice and to add clarity to the document. The original composition of the document included 11 standards with corresponding interpretive language. The standards revisions enhance the clarity of the standards without substantially changing their meaning. The end result is a more streamlined and updated set of standards, with minimal interpretive language. The Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice were approved by the Board of Directors in January 2013.
Noteworthy revisions to the standards include a stronger emphasis on the importance of care documentation, updates to several monitoring standards, most significantly the requirement to “continuously monitor for the presence of expired carbon dioxide” during moderate and deep sedation, and a continued emphasis on the importance of CRNA professional judgment and patient advocacy. Three other practice documents, the Postanesthesia Care Standards for the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Standards for Office Based Anesthesia Practice, and Guidelines for the Management of the Obstetrical Patient for the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, also were updated as a result of the standards revisions. These three documents will be reviewed in their entirety and revised based on the Practice Committee’s evidence-based process document review schedule.
All CRNAs, student nurse anesthetists, and other healthcare professionals are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the updated standards and incorporate them into their practice. CRNAs have a long history of providing high quality, safe and effective anesthesia care for their patients and these standards will continue to reinforce those principles. The updated Standards for Nurse Anesthesia Practice are available on the public side of the AANA’s website, under www.aana.com > Resources > Professional Practice > Professional Practice Manual.   Additionally, individual documents or the entire Professional Practice Manual for the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist is available for download from the AANA website or purchase in a bound format through the AANA Marketplace. The AANA Marketplace can be accessed at www.aana.com > Resources > AANA Marketplace. AANA members receive a discounted rate on these materials. Any questions regarding these standards can be directed to the AANA’s Professional Practice Division at practice@aana.com or (847) 655-8870.