Boy oh boy, this question should generate some lively debate!
Well, from what I hear, CRNAs are treated with great respect in most places. Many, many people say that the MDAs they work side by side with do not align themselves with the inflammatory rhetoric that comes from the ASA (American Society of Anesthesiologists). Many times I have heard the opinion that if both our professional associations would just let it go, that we could work along side each other in peace.
Sadly, this rosy picture is not universal. There are many places that utilize the services of CRNAs, but do not believe in their right to autonomous practice. So I am sure you will get a mixture of responses to this question.
My personal experience has included only restricted practice workplaces. The MDAs I have personally worked with do not allow CRNAs full scope of practice, and are very much "micromanagers".
Despite working in such an arrangement, I am a huge advocate for independent practice. I believe it is important to preserve that role for nurse anesthetists. Of course, so does our national association.
The ASAs position is that anesthesia is the practice of medicine. Therefore any nurses engaged in anesthesia are being delegated the authority by a physician, who maintains ultimate control.
AANAs position is that anesthesia is the practice of medicine when done by physicians, and the practice of nursing when done by nurses. Therefore CRNAs are licensed professionals responsible for their own actions, capable of autonomous practice, or free to work collaboratively with other professionals.
As you can imagine, there just isn't any room for compromise on either side, given these positions. Does that same tension exist in the OR? Some places, you wouldn't even know there is any professional disagreement. In other places, the tension is a constant backdrop for every workplace encounter