NY State Society of Anesthesiologists call on legislators to oppose nurse anesthetists bill — NY Nurse Anesthetists respond

The New York State Society of Anesthesiologists called upon legislators to oppose a bill that would allow nurse anesthetists to conduct anesthesia services.

Here's what you should know.

1. NYSSA President Rose Berkun, MD, said in a release, "Multiple problems can arise when administering anesthesia, and it can be surprising and fast-acting. In these situations, life and death decisions must be made in seconds; it should be a physician, who makes those decisions."

2. The society says physician anesthesiologists have between 12 years and 14 years of education, which includes up to 12,000 hours to 16,000 hours of clinical training to specialize in anesthesia care. Nurses' education requires approximately 2,500 hour of clinical training in comparison.

3. NYSSA Board Member Vilma Joseph, MD, said the bill puts the high standard of care patients expect at risk, endangering patient safety.

4. Lawmakers vetoed similar legislation in 2012. Lawmakers said the legislative administration has a right to require healthcare organizations implement high patient care standards. NYSSA claims the bill is attempting to allow the State Education Department authority to create scope of practice regulations.

5. New York State Society of Anesthesiologists also cited a recent survey claiming 90 percent of an unspecified amount of patients want physicians to administer anesthesia.

New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists President Barbara Capogna, CRNA, refuted some of the NYSSA's claims to Becker's ASC Review. Concerning the unspecified survey, she said eight studies published in peer-reviewed journals — like this one in Medical Care or this one in Nursing Administration Quarterly — since 2000 confirmed anesthesia care provided by certified registered nurse anesthetists was as good as, if not better than care provided by anesthesiologists.

6. Ms. Capogna said NYSSA incorrectly argued that the bill would bypass the state legislative process by allowing the State Education Department authority to create regulations defining scope of practice. Ms. Capogna said the bill would authorize the SED to certify advanced practice nurses who meet several requirements, including continuing education.

Ms. Capogna said the bill is necessary to "eliminate confusion for the provider community as well as ensure the public is receiving services by qualified anesthesia providers."

She said to Becker's, "New York remains one of the only states in the country that does not recognize CRNAs as advanced practice nurses. This bill provides strong public protection, requires the highest standards of professional education, competency and accountability and is long overdue."

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Wisconsin Medical Examining Board adds Drs. Padmaja Doniparthi and Alaa Abd-Elsayed

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