The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists was founded in 1981. It is devoted to anesthesia research, education and development. AANAs purpose is to advance the science of anesthesia through education and research. “The AANA Foundation serves as the leading resource for assuring safe anesthesia care through education and research” (AANA Foundation Student Page , 2017). When I was reading through posts in discussion board post number three I found students posting the need to educate the public about CRNAs role, education, and training. As Future CRNAs, it is important to participate in the AANA to “advance the science of anesthesia through education and research” (AANA Foundation Student Page , 2017).
There are several ways SRNAs can participate within the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). There is a student advocate program with the goal being to have one student advocate per anesthesia program. Student advocates share information about the Foundation with their student colleagues, including general information, dates and deadlines for Foundation events, scholarships, and awards. The program provides students with opportunities for growth and development. The AANA offers scholarships and research poster sessions for students. They also provide information for upcoming events where SRNAs can meet other SRNAs and CRNAs to get more involved. There is a Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress meeting September 8-12, 2017 in Seattle, WA. The AANA funds research by SRNAs and CRNAs. The AANA offers the opportunity for one student to serve on the AANA Practice, Public Relations, and Health and Wellness committee as well as the AANA’s Political Action Committee- called CRNA-PAC (AANA Foundation Student Page , 2017).
While reading through the 2016 abstracts and posters I didn’t notice any Evidence based research posters regarding CRNAs versus Anesthesia Assistant versus Anesthesiologist. There should be research comparing the three different types to see if there is a difference in safety or capabilities. There is no information about CRNAs taking on the most critical cases or patients with comorbidities.
The AANA research priorities for 2017 include six questions. There are two promising questions I believe once answered will advance the science of anesthesia. The first question is “Has patient access to care improved in states that have opted out of physician supervision?” The second question is “What are the outcomes of patient cared for in exclusively CRNA-staffed Veterans Affairs health care facilities compared with VA facilities using other anesthesia staffing models?” (AANA Foundation and AANA Joint Research Program Overviewwith Suggested Areas of Research, 2016) I am looking forward to reading about the outcomes of these research topics. I believe the more research that is done that proves CRNAs are just as safe and capable as anesthesiologists in all facets then CRNAs will be used to their full scope. I feel conducting the research alone isn’t enough. There needs to be an outreach program to get this information to the public.
Numerous nonmedical people are uneducated about what a CRNA is, what they do, or how they are trained. If these people don’t understand what a CRNA is I am sure they do not read or visit the AANA website on a regular basis. There needs to be a way to educate regular people and congress with the facts and research. I feel a great way to get the word out is through social media. According to Statista.com, Facebook is the most popular social network worldwide with the total amount of users in the United states amounting to 214 million users (Number of Facebook User in the US, 2017). I saw the AANA has a facebook page but, when scrolling through the site I never saw any informational videos about CRNAs. I didn’t see information about what CRNAs do, educational background, training, or capabilities. To combat the negative attitudes created by the ASA it is important the AANA circulates the facts on social media where many people read their information.
Currently the AANA has a campaign called to RISE Above. The three-year campaign aims to receive 1 million dollars in funding for health services research. The research will educate the spectrum of healthcare stakeholders about the value and quality that CRNAs bring to their patients. The campaign states “we must rise above: local barriers to practice, state and federal legislation that inhibits scope or practice, workforce marketplace competition, and inaccuracies and mistruths about CRNAs” (RISE Above, 2017). This campaign is a great start for CRNAs future. The AANA is doing great work and research for CRNAs. It is important to keep up with the research and educating people to further CRNAs scope of practice.