Nursing is unarguably the most conspicuous professions within the medical environment and in the greater health care sector. Although nursing is a popular profession in the medical arena, its definition is not effectively understood across the board. The nursing profession is commonly understood as a helping or assisting role to the doctors. Although the bulk of nursing work requires nurses to work in close contact with doctors, nursing in its entirety exceeds the boundaries created by the doctor-nurse relations. Nursing may be defined as a professional role within the greater health care arena which is not only focused on providing care to communities, individuals, and families but also in ensuring the quality of life is improved while recovering optimal health in both the short and the long terms. The three major fields of employment in nursing are laboratory, hospital, and clinic. Nursing stands out as the most diverse profession within the medical and greater health care arenas. Classified in light of the populations attended to by nurses, the nursing profession is divided into pediatrics, mental health, women’s health, communities, neonatal, and family. A nurse anesthesiologist is a classification of the nursing practice birthed from the different activity sectors in nursing. A nurse anesthesiologist stands out not only because of their attachment to the basic nursing training, but also their added knowledge in light of unique additional training and knowledge in the science, administration, and practice of anesthesia (Smith-Salzberg, et al. 42).
Within the United States health care arena, nurse anesthesiologists are expected to not only hold certification in registered nurse anesthetist but also in advanced practice nursing. A doctorate or masters level of nursing education coupled with board certification to practice medical anesthesia. Some of the fields of employment presented to nurse anesthesiologists range from rural and office settings to hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and outpatient surgery centers. The nurse anesthesiologists practice and profession date back to as far back as the onset of the American Civil War. Since then, there have been numerous developments that have taken place in the nurse anesthesiology practice. Today, certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) are provided with nurse anesthesia doctoral or master’s degrees. The provisions for masters, doctoral, and degree programs are usually developed by the nursing council on accreditation. Since 1981, nurses who apply for any school of anesthesia required, at the minimum, to not only be baccalaureate prepared but also complete an extensive anesthesia program at the master’s level. At the onset of 1990, all the programs shaping up nurse anesthesiology were transitioned into master’s degree programs. Currently, there are initiatives in place seeking to have the entry level of nurse anesthesiology have a mandatory Doctor of Nursing Practice qualification. This means that a Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) is the minimum requirement for the nurse anesthesiology practice. The move to have the entry point shifted will cut across the board and affect the various nursing practices that shape up advance practice nursing (Zhou, et al. 91).
The scope of practice for nurse anesthesiologists is important to analyze. This section of nurses enjoys varying degrees of supervision and independence. Podiatrists, physicians, and dentists are some of the common supervisors who oversee the day to day work activities of nurse anesthesiologists. The interaction between nurse anesthesiologists and other medical practitioners is different from one state to the other depending on the state laws. One of the common definitions provided by state laws is collaboration. This term not only defines but also creates grounds through which the relationship between the CRNA and their supervising physician is developed over the course of time. In some states, order or consent from a qualified license provider or physician is required in the administration of anesthesia. The scope of CRNA practice or the nurse anesthesiology is usually expanded on the grounds of the credentialing process and clinical privilege, practitioner agreements, or department policies. The clinical privileges presented to nurse anesthesiologists are based on and developed through the complexity and scope of the anticipated clinical practice, CRNA experience, CRNA qualifications, and medical environment. This is important as it ensures nurse anesthesiologists can provide core activities and services while functioning under minimal or no supervision. Today, there are over 105 countries across the globe where nurse anesthesiologists are part of the medical practice. Nurse anesthesiologists assist light of the administration of anesthesia in nine countries across the globe. International governing bodies such as the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetics function to ensure standards undergirding practice, codes of ethics, and standards of education are maintained at high standards and constantly developed (Ligata, et al. 58).
Conclusively, it is important to reiterate that although the bulk of nursing work requires nurses to work in close contact with doctors, nursing in its entirety exceeds the boundaries created by the doctor-nurse relations. Nursing should be approached as a professional role within the greater health care arena which is not only focused on providing care to communities, individuals, and families but also in ensuring the quality of life is improved while recovering optimal health in both the short and the long terms. The nurse anesthesiology practice not only stands because of its attachment to the basic nursing training, but also the great link to added knowledge in light of unique additional training and knowledge in the science, administration, and practice of anesthesia.
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