Health Care Quality
Americans place a high value on the quality of their health care and surveys have shown most prefer physicians to be in charge of their care. For a physician anesthesiologist, the quality of patient care matters above all. Because of their superior education and training, physician anesthesiologists provide the highest-quality and safest care to patients.
Most states maintain the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) federal safety regulation that mandates physician supervision of anesthesia care. However, a handful of states allow nurses to manage a patient’s anesthesia without physician supervision. While nurse anesthetists play an important role on an Anesthesia Care Team, their medical education and clinical training is not the same as a physician’s.
Physician anesthesiologists have 12,000 hours to 16,000 hours of clinical training, compared with nurse anesthetists, who have a median of 1,651 hours. A nursing education does not prepare nurse anesthetists for the many aspects of evaluating, diagnosing and treating a patient that can be required.
Many of the hospitals in the country choose to provide patient-centered, physician-led anesthesia care, even in states where it is not required.