Utah surgeons against AA's

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    I found this to be very interesting. The docs on this site promote anesthesiologists and CRNA's, but is anti-AA. http://utahsurgeonsforsafeanesthesia.com/index.asp
    Many docs in Utah have been trying to get aa's here for several years. These surgeons are against it based on the grounds of lack of training, insufficient data regarding aa safety, etc. Give it a read.
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  4. 36 Comments so far...

  5. 0
    I personally believe that AA's need to be phased into the picture more, especially in large hospitals. The salary is less than an MD/CRNA which would save the hospital money and they can be a knowledgeable and effective part of the healthcare team.

    The arguments I'm seeing here are simply dead-ended. For example, on the website you posted they said something along the lines of "anyone can enter an AA program with no healthcare experience and become an AA in 2 years". Hmm, what other profession does this remind me of? Nursing, Surgical Technicians, X-Ray Technicians, Paramedics, PTA's, OTA's...

    Additionally, they say that there is a lack of evidence supporting their effectiveness and safety. Well, this is probably because there is a lack of AA's all around!
  6. 0
    What is an "AA"?
  7. 0
    When I saw the title, I assumed they were either were openly racist (AA=African American), or hated Alcoholics Anonymous.
  8. 0
    Not quite sure why this should even be of interest to us as this is a NURSES web/ blog site. AA's are NOT nurses. AA's are yet another attempt to take away jobs from CRNA's as they are cheaper to employ.
    While I dont feel an exhaustive discussion is warrented about why CRNA's and Anesthesiologists are wayy more highly qualified to administer anesthesia , I will say this...Just take a lot at how long it takes to train as as CRNA (6-7 yrs, 4yrs to become an RN then 2-3 years in CRNA school) or up to 10-11 year to become an Anesthesiologist.
    I think these surgeons opinions are TOTALLY justified. I would not want an AA administered an anesthetic to me if I was the patient , thank you very much.
  9. 0
    Even if it takes only 2-3 years to get your CRNA license after you get your 4 year nursing degree, it take 2 or more years in a critical care setting to even get looked at by a CRNA school. I alway thought that AA's were there to make sure the anethesia care providers had everything that they needed and assist in intubating the paitent, not actually doing the procedures. As a surgical tech, you are only there to assist the surgeon, like hand instruments to surgeons(and have everything they need) and make sure the sterile field stays sterile. To actually be able to be a true first assist(certified), it takes at least another year of schooling and a surgeon to sponsor you while you are in the program.(I can't remeber how many hours you need to be certified, but it will take a year or more to get the hours) at my school it is an associate program, and only CST's, PA's and Rn's with a CST background, or periop nursing can take it.
    So no, I don't think that a two year program will make anyone competent enough to play with anesthesia drugs and be a paitent advocate. There are way too many variables in the way the person reacts to said drugs.
  10. 0
    Quote from antidote
    The arguments I'm seeing here are simply dead-ended. For example, on the website you posted they said something along the lines of "anyone can enter an AA program with no healthcare experience and become an AA in 2 years". Hmm, what other profession does this remind me of? Nursing, Surgical Technicians, X-Ray Technicians, Paramedics, PTA's, OTA's...
    The 2 years is graduate work and not an Associates degree. The programs that have been around for awhile such as Emory are similar to the Masters for the PA. Some of the states that I am familiar with that have licensed AA require a minimum of a Masters. Each program can also tailor the entry requirements to their program. Initially this was a graduate degree limited to those who held a degree in the medical professions such as PA or RT. They have been around for awhile. However, like another profession that also requires a Masters, Exercise Physiologists, they are just getting strong and large enough to push for their own legislation rather than riding under the wire of others.

    Also, only one state requires a Paramedic to have a degree and Surgical Techs can still be OJT in some places. RNs, Radiology Technologist, PTAs and OTAs do require a minimum of a two year degree.
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    The states that do license AAs require a Masters degree. Thus, the two years are graduate work like the PA in some states.

    The colleges can also be specific about the entry requirements which are generally heavy in the sciences. Many years ago this program was restricted to those in the health professions such as RT or PA who had a minimum of a Bachelors degree. The AA is not a new profession but they are finally getting numbers and strengthening their profession to where they can go for the legislation and not ride under the wire or on the coat tails of others. This is very much like Exercise Physiologists who also have Masters degrees but are just now pushing for licensure.

    From the professions mentioned in an earlier post, Surgical Techs are still a cert at a votech or even OJT in some places. Only one state requires new Paramedics to have an Associates degree.
  12. 0
    Also look at it this way:

    It takes more jobs away from nurses (and doctors, but we care about the nurses here, lol).

    Any nursing or medical organization is going to be against it for that reason. CRNAs in my area are already having a hard time finding jobs because so many nurses have decided to go to school for it now, and the job market is flooded.
  13. 0
    AAs are not cheaper than CRNAs. Where CRNAs/AAs work together their salaries are the same. AAs are simply about politics and ASA's desire to try to control as many anesthesia practices as possible.

    The most economical form of anesthesia care model is CRNA only practices, and the most expensive type of anesthesia care model is the Anesthesia Care Team where all AAs have to work d/t their scope of practice. When you break it down AAs are actually more expensive than CRNAs, because they cannot provide independent care.

    There are no valid studies showing AAs safety simply because they cannot work without supervision of an anesthesiologist, so at best you are just showing how safe AAs are working with an anesthesiologist. Independent CRNAs have been shown to be just as safe as anesthesiologists in multiple studies. This type of study could never be replicated with AAs.


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