Derek Reckard, MSN, PHRN, CRNA
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) used to be the best kept secret in health care. But all of that is changing. Two separate resolutions adopted unanimously by the state House and Senate on Jan. 16 recognize CRNAs for the quality, affordable care we provide and offer a new glimpse of the men and women behind the surgical masks.
The resolutions were sponsored by state Sen. John R. Gordner (R-Columbia) and Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware) --- two longtime champions of CRNAs in Pennsylvania. Their resolutions (S.R. 6 and H.R. 30, respectively) recognize Jan. 20-26 as “Nurse Anesthetists Week” in Pennsylvania, coinciding with National CRNA Week.
This is an incredible tribute to every CRNA who plays a role in protecting patients’ health and controlling rising health-care costs. The fact is that when seconds count, it’s you --- the certified registered nurse anesthetist --- who’s there by the patient’s side for every heartbeat, every breath, every step of the way.
It used to be that patients weren’t aware of us, or that they didn’t remember it was a CRNA who cared for them throughout their procedure. Not anymore. More and more people understand that CRNAs are hands-on providers of anesthesia care for millions of patients every year. We are usually the last person they see before being anesthetized for their procedure, and the first person they see when they awake.
That’s a testament to our commitment to care for the patient throughout the entire surgical procedure.
The fact is that health care would be much different without CRNAs. We operate safely in every setting where anesthesia is administered, including: hospital operating and delivery rooms; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons; pain management centers and more.
That’s why so many more patients are getting to know us.
And our role is so much more expansive. CRNAs are the main providers of anesthesia care in rural communities. CRNAs also are battle-tested, serving on the front lines since World War I as the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel in austere combat theaters.
That’s why so many more patients and providers appreciate us.
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists, thank you, CRNAs, for all you do. It may be designated “CRNA Week in Pennsylvania,” but we know your passion and dedication drive you --- day in, day out, all year long.
To read our news release about “CRNA Week in Pennsylvania,” click HERE.