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Lawmakers, staff experience “day in the life” of nurse anesthesia residents

Seeing is believing --- and several northeastern Pennsylvania lawmakers and staff got a firsthand look at just a few of the intensive education and training programs that students must master to become certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs).

Aaron J. Crowell, BSN, RN, SRNA, a nurse anesthesia resident at the University of Scranton School of Nurse Anesthesia, initially reached out to invite state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski (D-Luzerne) to visit and check out the university’s simulation labs.

🏫 But, as the senior student leader on the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists’ (PANA) Government Relations Committee, Crowell realized he had a golden opportunity to help inform key decision-makers in Harrisburg. So, he expanded the invitation to cover all lawmakers in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

🩺On Sept. 5, a contingent of legislators and staff visited the campus for a “day in the life” tour of the university’s anesthesia simulation lab and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) labs.

Besides Pashinksi, other attending lawmakers included state Reps. Jim Haddock (D-Luzerne) and Kyle J. Mullins (D-Lackawanna) and state Sen. Marty Flynn (D-Luzerne & Lackawanna), and staffers from the offices of state Reps. Bridget M. Kosierowski (D-Lackawanna) and Kyle Donahue (D-Lackawanna) and state Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne & Wyoming).

As sought-after anesthesia care providers, CRNAs are highly educated and expertly trained with years of education and experience before entering into practice. Nurse anesthetists obtain an average of 9,369 clinical hours of training prior to becoming a CRNA. They are required to be nationally certified and must be recertified every four years. Recertification includes meeting advanced practice requirements and obtaining a minimum of 100 continuing education credits.

Of course, it’s one thing to talk about education and training. It’s another thing altogether to see it and experience it firsthand.

Crowell and other nurse anesthesia residents, including Brandon Perrotte, Nelson Ramos, and Meghan Visalli, used the simulation lab as a tool to demonstrate how extensive CRNA training is and what skills nurse anesthetists demonstrate so expertly in the operating room.

Shadowing these nurse anesthesia residents ensured lawmakers saw up close and personal the skills that CRNAs possess to keep patients safe --- an invaluable experience they will take back to the state capital in Harrisburg to help inform their decisions about important health-care initiatives, especially those related to CRNAs.


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