November 07, 2021
Anesthesiologists, not nurses, are best choice for patients: Letter to the Editor published in Anderson Independent Mail
South Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists Second Vice President Brian Thompson, M.D., submitted a letter to the editor to the Anderson Independent Mail (Anderson, South Carolina). His letter was published in the Nov. 7 issue of the newspaper. The full text can be found below:
Anesthesiologists, not nurses, are best choice for patients
A recent letter, “This rule would improve health care in SC,” made a dangerous proposition that jeopardizes quality health care and patients’ lives.
During the peak of the pandemic, operating rooms were running on a significantly reduced capacity due to a lack of hospital beds, and there were no limitations due to anesthesia care.
Physician anesthesiologists are guardians of patient safety and make a difference when it matters most — in the operating room, in the intensive care unit and during unprecedented times such as a pandemic.
Our education and training prepared us to navigate these life-and-death moments, as we transitioned from the operating room to the ICU, acting as airway management experts for the sickest of COVID-19 patients.
Physician anesthesiologists are proud to be on the front lines and to use our experience, including 12 to 14 years of education and 12,000 to 16,000 hours of clinical training. And while nurse anesthetists play a valuable role on anesthesia care teams and we appreciate their help in caring for patients, they have half the education and only 2,500 hours of training.
Forty-five states and D.C. require physician involvement for anesthesia care. Physician supervision is also supported by independent research and its elimination does not improve access to care or save costs.
Physician supervision of anesthesia care saves lives and protects patients. Every patient deserves the highest quality care from a physician.
Wouldn’t you want a physician caring for you or your family?
Brian Thompson, M.D.
Second Vice President, South Carolina Society of Anesthesiologists
Anderson, South Carolina