The UConn Health Center is celebrating the contributions of its certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) during the 15th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week Jan. 19-25.
As registered nurses with APRN licensure and advanced post-baccalaureate degrees, CRNAs serve in a variety of roles in their daily practice. Most CRNAs practice in the clinical setting, administering general and regional anesthesia, including sedation, for many surgical subspecialties, obstetrics, interventional cardiology, radiology and pain management procedures for patients ranging in age from the neonate to the elderly. CRNAs also work as educators and administrators in anesthesia programs, health care management and research facilities.
Nationwide, CRNAs are involved in the administration of 34 million anesthetics given to patients in the United States each year. CRNAs are also fully utilized by all branches of the military. From World War I to present day, nurse anesthetists have provided anesthesia care to enlisted men and women, officers and veterans, on the front lines and in Veterans Administration hospitals.
At the Heath Center, the Department of Anesthesiology currently employs 19 certified registered nurse anesthetists. Since it’s opening in 1975, CRNAs have worked side by side with anesthesiologists and anesthesia residents, providing anesthesia to patients at John Dempsey Hospital and the Farmington Surgical Center. UConn CRNAs are also actively involved in hospital committees such as Shared Governance, Safety, Infection Control and Orthopedics.
On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the nurse anesthetists will be hosting an information table outside the food court from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the UConn Health community are invited to stop by and learn more about the CRNA profession, the “Walk in My Shoes” program sponsored by the Shared Governance Committee, and CRNA educational preparation, which is transitioning from a master’s degree to a clinical doctoral degree.
On Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Department of Nursing will be sponsoring a breakfast in honor of the UConn CRNAs and their contributions and continuing commitment to providing the highest quality anesthesia care for patients at the Health Center.
All the CRNAs would like to thank the following for hosting the CRNA breakfast and supporting the 2014 National Nurse Anesthetists Week: Anne Diamond, interim chief executive officer, John Dempsey Hospital; Angelique Richards, interim chief nursing officer; and Sharyn Heinzelman, director of perioperative services; and Dr. Thomas Yasuda, clinical chief of the Department of Anesthesiology.