ANESTHESIA CARE TEAM

The majority of the time, anesthesia that HBS bills for, has been provided in the anesthesia care team mode. This means that, in addition to the anesthesiologist (M.D.), a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) was involved in the case.

Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who have completed a four-year undergraduate program, four years of graduate doctoral training and four more years of anesthesiology residency. They apply their knowledge of medicine to fulfill their primary role in the operating room,  to ensure your comfort during surgery and to make informed medical judgments to protect you. These judgments include treating and regulating changes in your critical life functions -- breathing, heart rate, blood pressure -- as they are affected by the surgery being performed. These medical specialists are the doctors who will immediately diagnose and treat any medical problems that might arise during your surgery or recovery period.
The role of an anesthesiologist extends beyond the operating room and recovery room. Anesthesiologists work in intensive care units to help restore critically ill patients to stable condition. In childbirth, anesthesiologists manage the care of two persons: they provide pain relief for the mother while managing the life functions of both the mother and the baby. Anesthesiologists are also involved in pain management, including diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic problems.

 CRNAs or nurse anesthetists generally provide anesthetics to patients in collaboration with the anesthesiologist.  When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Education and experience required to become a CRNA include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree, a current license as a registered nurse, at least one year’s experience in an acute care nursing setting, graduation from an accredited graduate school of nurse anesthesia (these educational programs range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements, and offer a master’s degree, all programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals), and pass a national certification examination following graduation. Successful completion of the exam earns the graduate the designation of CRNA or certified registered nurse anesthetist.