In the professional healthcare provider field, two groups are always in demand: anesthetists and anesthesiologists. Within a given healthcare facility, these two professions often touch just about every department or practice. That's why it's important to understand and honor the work they do — notably, nurse anesthetists — to help improve patient outcomes.
Organized by AANA, American Association of Nurse Anesthesiologists, National CRNA Week recognizes the country's nearly 57,000 CRNAs. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic putting healthcare providers’ work in a brighter spotlight, it's more critical than ever to allow people to honor the individuals who perform this critical care.
The nurse anesthetist community is a powerful one, with many dedicated and talented people making up its ranks. Here's a closer look into the experience of being a CRNA: a day in the life of one, their role in the modern healthcare setting, and how CRNA staffing is helping to change healthcare for the better.
A Day in the Life of a CRNA
CRNAs don't have it easy. They may deal with multiple patients of varying ages, health levels, and temperaments. No two days are identical. They are expected to provide top-level care for people in some of their most vulnerable moments and play multiple roles. They have to understand how to perform their core job responsibilities and manage patient expectations while answering questions. It's not enough to administer care; they also need to reassure and comfort.
If you're a CRNA, you understand how flexible and versatile you must be in your role. You administer anesthesia, which is challenging enough on its own. You're also looked at as a source of information and comfort by patients. You require optimal patience and tact in handling the people who enter your care. It's often a thankless role.
Nurse anesthetists are often unsung heroes in healthcare facilities, but they must perform at a high level during critical times throughout a patient's medical experience. That's why, as the face of modern healthcare continues to develop, CRNAs only increase in importance.
The Role of a CRNA in a Modern Healthcare Setting
CRNAs play a pivotal role wherever you find them, but they're especially crucial in rural and critical access hospitals. These facilities may find themselves lower on resources and clinicians than other facilities due to their location or funding. That means that board-certified anesthesiologists, who provide those critical services, may be inaccessible to rural or smaller clinics.
That's where CRNAs come in. They can act as trusted, competent professionals when anesthesiologists are otherwise unavailable.
How CRNAs are Changing the Face of Healthcare Staffing
Why is it that CRNAs are so influential to modern healthcare? It's simple: without CRNAs, it's nearly impossible for rural healthcare organizations and clinics to provide vital services such as surgery, obstetrics, and trauma stabilization for emergency medicine, to name a few.
A hospital's location may make it more remote, but this doesn't stop emergencies from happening. CRNAs can help these facilities respond to a community’s needs when it comes to performing surgery.
CRNA employment is also an increasingly positive prospect. For those entering this career field, the next decade’s numbers are promising. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects nurse anesthetists’ overall employment to jump by 45% between 2019 and 2029. That means that it will continue to be an excellent career path with decent job security relative to other professions or industries.
Why CRNAs Make a Difference
CRNAs have challenging but rewarding jobs. They fill a vital role in healthcare, providing necessary services while maintaining optimal professionalism and delivering high-quality care. CRNA Week is a great way to honor these talented, skilled providers. It allows the industry to take stock of what they do and celebrate the irreplaceable role they play in the modern healthcare setting.
Are you a CRNA with an essential skill set looking for the perfect position? Work with VISTA to find the right fit for your career path. For more information on how VISTA can help, check out our job board.