ASA Criticizes Proposed VA Nursing Handbook

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The American Society of Anesthesiologists has criticized a draft of a new Veterans Health Administration nursing handbook, according to a MedPage Today report.

The handbook calls for advance practice nurse anesthetists to attain independent status and function without the support or supervision of a physician. In a July 2 letter to the Office of the Under Secretary for Health, the ASA requested the opportunity to meet with them about the contents of the Nursing Handbook.

Jane C.K. Fitch, MD, an anesthesiologist at the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, and president-elect of the ASA, said in a teleconference that the handbook eliminates physician-led, team-based coordinated care in anesthesiology. She also said that the length and depth of training that anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetist undergo are dramatically different, according to the report.

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