Anesthesia is freedom from pain. Each year, more than 26 million people in the United States undergo some form of medical treatment requiring anesthesia. Anesthesia, in the hands of qualified professionals like , is a safe and effective means of alleviating pain during nearly every type of medical procedure. Anesthesia care is not confined to surgery alone. The process also refers to activities that take place both before and after an anesthetic is given.
In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist (physician anesthetist). CRNAs are advanced practice nurses with specialized graduate-level education in anesthesiology. For more than 100 years, nurse anesthetists have been administering anesthesia in all types of surgical cases, using all anesthetic techniques and practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is administered.
There are three basic types of anesthesia:
General anesthesia produces a loss of sensation throughout the entire body.
Regional anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body.
Local anesthesia produces a loss of sensation to a small specific area of the body.
A preoperative interview with your anesthesia professional will determine which anesthetic is best for you.
The nurse anesthetist stays with you for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important function of your body and individually modifying your anesthetic to ensure your maximum safety and comfort.
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has prepared a comprehensive list of what to do and what to expect.
Patient safety is very important to both patient and nurse anesthetists. AANA has setup a special AnesthesiaPatientSafety.com* to provide and promote patient safety information and issues.
*Used with permission of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists