Are any of you CRNAs concerned about the potential for automated Anesthesia?

  1. Here is the article https://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...bdd_story.html .

    As an aspiring CRNA, I am rather concerned about the potential for machines replacing CRNA jobs. I am still about 5 years away from potential graduation from a CRNA school, and wonder how realistic a robot replacing the job of a CRNA actually is.

    What do you all think?
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    Joined: Nov '15; Posts: 1

    12 Comments

  3. by   gazpaz
    Wouldn't give it a second thought. Machines can't manage airways. Unfortunately it will take one bad critical event for the "anesthesia machine" to get the review that it really needs in terms of safety.
  4. by   wtbcrna
    Those machines are for light to moderate sedation. A CRNA's job encompasses so much more than that that isn't really worth worrying about unless you want to work your entire career doing GI clinic sedations.
  5. by   goldwater58
    Robotic surgery certainly hasn't replaced surgeons.
  6. by   PG2018
    Not knowing squat about anesthesia beyond rotations I did 15 years ago in paramedic school and doing conscious sedation when I was an ER nurse, I think there will need to be an anesthetist/anesthesiologist present to monitor the machine. Granted, with the right algorithm development one person could probably manage multiple anesthesias in the future, but I don't think your career is harmed. I'd actually like to patent a kiosk/vending machine for patients to enter their symptoms, allergies, and be dispensed a SSRI, SNRI, bupropion, mirtazapine, or trazodone prescription.
  7. by   sauce
    We may have that in the next couple decades. A blood sample and a flat screen monitor and a credit card swipe. right next to the redbox machine and automated fast food machine.

    Then we can all be on government welfare while taking our antidepressant, eating our EXTRA BIGA$$ FRIES, and being treated by Dr. Lexus.

    But for real we will prob have something like that provide president comacho approves it.
  8. by   ddshutlz
    The reason you are worried is because you don't really understand the general aspect of anesthesia work. When you go through school, and become a CRNA, you'll have more important things to worry about. As a CRNA, I personally don't feel threatened because, as I currently see it, it will take a long time before a robot can replace us. Not in my working lifetime at least.
    Some things I would consider (not necessarily worry about) would be:
    1. The oversupply of CRNA's in the upcoming years.
    2. CRNA vs. MD turf wars.
    3. Increases in cost of education to become a CRNA.
    4. Changes in the path to become a CRNA (Emergence of DNP programs without a real emphasis in tougher clinical and skills training)
  9. by   ICUCCRNPA
    Not evening automated cars is going well, I doubt automated anesthesia machines in this lifetime
  10. by   wtbcrna
    That particular machine was discontinued in 2016.
  11. by   offlabel
    To a certain extent, anesthesia has already become relatively automated. Time was the CRNA had a finger on the temporal pulse, did manual BP's and poured anesthetic out of a can onto a gauze frame mask. Oh and had a precordial stethoscope in one ear. Now you don't have to touch the patient once the tube is taped. Everything is electronically recorded, you set the vaporizer and go. If you want you can set an infusion of muscle relaxant and narcotic to really make it more automated. Not fully, but pretty darn close. But as things go this way, surgical procedures can become way more complex requiring real humans to be running the show.
  12. by   babyNP.
    Machines will come for our jobs, no doubt. It's not a matter of if, but when. Health care jobs will be one of the last to go, methinks. Here's a great video on the subject:

    Humans Need Not Apply - YouTube

    Our economy will need to adjust...but OP, you are more than likely totally safe for your lifetime.
  13. by   loveanesthesia
    I just don't see how a machine will ever replace a human anesthesia provider. We are always adjusting the anesthetic based on what we anticipate will be happening in about a 5 minute time frame. For example, I see the surgeon gowning so incision will be in a few minutes. Even though the patient is at the right level of anesthesia right now, I begin increasing the anesthetic in anticipation of what will be happening. That happens throughout the anesthetic. I take into consideration the patient, the procedure, and the surgeon. As for the comment of worring about an oversupply of anesthesia providers-no worries there. The demand for CRNAs in high, and if anything we need to be graduating more CRNAs than we are now. But they need to be well prepared for independent practice.
  14. by   Spadeforce
    Not for a while but sometime in the future yeah. Not likely for any of us to worry about yet though. I mean have you seen the computer try to interpret an ekg lol?

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