Quote from topcat1234
thank you! ok, now what is the difference in duties between a crna and an aa, if any?
i am trying to more understand the arguments on this board and i simply do not know enough about either to understand why this is an issue.
no flame-throwing please, just trying to provide a short outline of details that pertain to the question asked!
crna and aa
*both educated at level of master's degree
*crna's are registered nurses (already licensed professionals) who have a minimum of one year of critical-care experience prior to entering their anesthesia education programs
*aa's do not necessarily have to have any experience in healthcare prior to entering their anesthesia education programs, although i imagine healthcare experience would assist them in gaining entry into their programs (i believe there are only two such programs -- not sure?)
*function is quite similar, although aa's must be directed by an anesthesiologist and crna's do not require medical supervision. for example, a crna could practice without an anesthesiologist being in-house, but an aa must have the anesthesiologist in-house in order to practice.
*entry to both anesthesia education programs requires a strong background in the sciences (chemistry, biology, physiology, etc). requirements for crna programs vary greatly from school to school --- there are only 2 aa schools, so not a whole lot of room for variance there.
bottom line - crna's are already experienced in dealing with the critically-ill patient as a licensed care provider, before ever beginning an anesthesia education program. nursing experience brings with it a deeper understanding of pathophysiology and co-morbidities than a general science undergraduate education...thus tipping the scales in favor of having a crna at the head of the or table, rather than an aa. that is what i would want for myself, for my loved ones, and for my patients. that is also why i hope to be a crna myself, someday.
hope that helps!