A rose by any other name........

  1. Folks, I have a question...what do you call yourselves? I know that sounds silly, but here in New England, most people I have talked to are pretty uneducated about nursing anesthesia. In fact, it has been quite comical to try and explain it to people who ask what career paths I am looking into..... "oh... so you're going back to nursing...thought you didn't want to do that anymore....". So I've been wondering - when people ask you what you "do"... how do you reply? "I'm a nurse anesthetist" is the right answer, but it doesn't roll of the tongue that easily! And then you have to explain what in the world that means..... Does anyone else think about such things?

    Thanks - Doug
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   WntrMute2
    I'm not sure how I'll introduce myself. But the president of the ANAA (just heard her speak) Says something like this "Hi, I'm a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and I'll be with you during your entire surgery, from the time you go to sleep to the time we arrive in the recovery room. Soon, you'll meet the anestesiologist who'll be with you....... "

    Enough said?
  4. by   alansmith52
    finally someone who feels as I do.
    I would like to second this question to all CRNA's
    for years my family members have asked me what I want to be. I get more and more anxious(almost defensive) every time I have to explain it. They say things like "Oh once you get that you'll help the anesthesiologist?".
    No I say, then I go into the whole nurses started anesthesia and all the percentages and data and bla bla bla.
    should I just expect to do that the rest of my life??
    Matt RN.

    P.S. If I do need to be ready to do that I will. (with a little help from prozac)
  5. by   kmchugh
    I tell people I'm a Nurse Anesthetist, and I be administering their anesthetic. If they have questions, I answer them. The same goes for what I tell people outside the hospital. I don't generally care what they think anyway. I know what I am and what I can do.

    Kevin McHugh
  6. by   lgcv
    I tell people that I am a graduate nurse anesthesia student. Questions are a good thing, nurse anesthesia has been a relatively "hidden" specialty. If your patients know that their anesthesia was delivered by a CRNA, and they have a good experience then that is one more person who is pro CRNA. The same goes for family and friends the more people who are fully informed about CRNAs the better. (caution slightly political stance) I believe that in part, the ability of the ASA to use scare tactics when trying to protect their turf, hinges on the publics lack of knowledge regarding CRNAs. So just smile and explain as best you can when someone does not understand. Chances are if they have ever had surgery, a CRNA delivered their anesthesia and they did not even realize it.
  7. by   ma kettle
    How do you handle surgeons that have a problem with you, just because?. Or tempermental MDs in general. Is the atmosphere generally one of getting along, or one that there is a little tension?
    Do you have nurses give you a hard time or attempt to challenge your knowledge? Interesting subject.
    Sandy
  8. by   alansmith52
    I agree.
    What you guys are saying is; that over time- as we proudly tell people what we do. and do the teaching. it will become more common knowledge.
    Has either of you ever had a patient that requested you not do the case. and requested to have an MDA. that seems like it would be a very sticky situation.
    Matt RN.
  9. by   ma kettle
    Good question. I have heard people here say " I don't want a Nurse Practioner to see me if I am paying for a Doctor. " I think the public is getting a little better with this as far as the nurse practioners go but they have a long way to go and I assume the nurse anesthetist could be under the same bias.
    Of course, when I have had surgery, It never occurred to me to ask who was doing the anesthesia. I was too worried about the surgery and pain afterwards
    Sandy
  10. by   lgcv
    Tempermental people...calmly reiterate what you have to say, their goal is the same as yours...best patient care. Most of the time you can come to an agreement as to the best course of action. For the most part people are congenial, it is give and take as with any profession. As long as you treat people with dignity and respect you get the same in return.
    I have had one patient request a board certified anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist on that day assured the patient that he would be involved in his care. And he was, as he saw him pre-op and post-op, the CRNA provided anesthesia.

    A patient requesting an MDA hopefully is not a sticky situation, the only time it should represent a problem is in rural practice where there is no MDA. Hopefully with a little education those patients would be comfortable with a CRNA. Otherwise it is a personal decision for the patient, based on their knowledge or lack thereof regarding anesthesia. It is not a personal affront to a CRNA and should not be taken as such IMO.

    I think the majority of patients are so worried about their surgery that who is providing their anesthesia is of little concern to them.
    They see the surgery itself as the most risky, therefore are more focused on the surgeon.
  11. by   lgcv
    Thought I would add an addendum. The issues between CRNAs and MDAs are largely fought in the political arena. There is a mutual respect between most CRNAs and MDAs in the workplace.

    Not to say that there are not some people on both sides of the issue who consider the two groups enemies. But, I think (not sure as my experience is somewhat limited) that the people who have serious issues work in all CRNA or all MDA practices.

    Anyway, thought I would add that just in case all the press coverage gave you the impression that we were working together under a cloud of animosity.
  12. by   meandragonbrett
    I've also noticed that the CRNA V. MDA "Turf War" seems to be between non-anesthesia people. Have you guys seen this? I've seen MANY MANY MANY med. students argue over this on other boards. I think it's funny that the med. students are arguing over something they don't have a clue about.

    Brett
  13. by   WntrMute2
    What's really interesting is that the SURGEON doesn't care or may not even know who's passing gas. On more than 1 occasion a surgeon has said to me after the case is over. "Why do you guys need anesthesiologists at all." Probably not a politically correct statement on their part but who cares? All they care about is the stability of their patient and can they do what needs to be done.

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