AANA Updates

Patient Safety Awareness Week: CRNAs Set the Standard for Safe and Effective Anesthesia Care

  • Mar 9, 2020

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2020
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA) ̶ In honor of Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 8-14, 2020), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) want patients to know that nurse anesthetists are not only patient safety practitioners, they are patient safety experts. CRNAs plan and implement every step of the anesthesia process with patients’ safety and well-being in mind.

“Everything we do, from the preoperative interview through surgery, to when the patient is moved to post-anesthesia care is patient-centric and developed for a patient’s safety,” said AANA President Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA LTC (ret). “We provide safe and effective anesthesia care for every patient.”

Safety is a priority through the entire anesthesia process:

  • The preoperative interview is the time for patients to meet with their CRNA and discuss their medical history, any medications they are taking, any personal habits (use of herbal products, tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs) that might affect or compromise their anesthesia, and any concerns they may have about the anesthesia they are about to undergo.
  • CRNAs dedicate themselves to one patient at a time. Focusing on a single patient allows CRNAs to concentrate on that patient’s needs throughout the perioperative process. CRNAs monitor the patient’s vital signs, assess physiologic function, and advocate for the patient throughout surgery. They keep the surgeon and the surgical team informed, and are responsible for optimizing the patient’s condition.
  • CRNAs include and collaborate with the patient as a full member of the surgical team. CRNAs take a holistic approach to patient health and well-being. By including the patient in the strategy for their surgery, postoperative care and pain management, CRNAs educate patients about what to expect and empower them to participate in their own care.

“Patient safety is one of the hallmarks of nurse anesthesiology,” said AANA CEO Randall Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA. “We pride ourselves on keeping our patients safe and pain-free throughout surgery and helping them to maintain healthy multimodal pain management strategies after surgery.”

As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.

About Patient Safety Awareness Week
Sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about healthcare safety. The week serves as a dedicated time and platform for growing awareness about patient safety and recognizing the work already being done.

About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

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