Quote from paindoc
The questions that must be asked are
1. Would it enhance patient care?
2. At what cost would such a program be to the participants?
3. What value would such a degree confer?
For 99.5% of anesthetics administered, having a nurse doctoral degree or PhD wouldn't make a hill of beans worth of difference. Providing an anesthetic is largely a technical skill. Given that anesthesia has become so safe, therefore there are no giant hurdles to be conquored by the profession. For comparison, look at pharmacists that now have PharmD degrees that are required. Do you really think in 99.5% of the cases it makes any difference? I certainly don't. Pharmacy, retail and most hospital pharmacy, is also a technical training skill in which the doctoral degree really made little difference except for the elite that are involved in drug development, specialized compounding, etc.
The cost would be huge, but it would further fragment a profession that has significant disparity in training since most CRNAs are certificate CRNAs without a master's degree. Now adding another layer of education may eventually make the certificate CRNA equivalent to a LPN. Or would it....probably not. Probably no difference at all between the non-MS degree CRNAs, MS degree CRNAs, and PhD CRNAs functionally. But with multiple degree levels comes the potential for insurers to begin to pick off those without their designated requirements to be in their network.
Adding 2 years of training to a profession with a 99.99% success rate in delivering anesthesia is absurd, unless it is for vanity so one could be called "doctor".
Thanks for the response.
Let me be the devils advocate....
I agree on some levels - but the argument was similar when anaesthetists were practicing at diploma levels when the transition to Masters was proposed..do you remember that?
...the other thing is this.... whereas I have found a sage and undeniable truth in practice ..... "once bitten...twice shy" ..... in which one or a few cases determine future action - usually due to poor outcomes and being completely at wits end - where one is reactive rather than proactive.
I have found that merely functioning at a technical level is not enough when practicing privately. And that is a farce to imply otherwise.
An old partner of mine said this most directly, in an all CRNA practice, ...... "It's not the anesthesia that is difficult, but the medicine"
Administering the anesthesia is highly technical but - in order to get to that point of deciding "it is safe to proceed or should I not" can be daunting esp if these preoperative issues directly lead to intra-operative events. For example, new graduates I have met can do an enormous number of varying cases - but are severely lacking in areas that I have mentioned in my above post.
It is not the large number of mind numbing and unchallenging cases that define us (they will establish routine/complacency- if anything -for sure) - but rather those cases that completely taken us by surprise, are challenging, have painted us in a corner, where tunnel vision has set in and we are at wits end - for some ...your .5% is more common than not ...and is also the base of morbidity and mortality numbers the ASA love to quote when speaking about anaesthetist (yes another mud fling)
Take away point: Don't misread this - I am enormously proud of my peers - I just think d/t generalized and accepted constraints we are limited in the quality and amount of training. The ASA wants this difference - for that is what separates them from the rest of us "technicians"
....Do I support a PHd??? Heavens - no - But what do I support is a more and enriching education with less constraints on us...(Note to self - add this to Christmas list for next year)