Open Letter to Our Nurse Anesthetist Colleagues
as published in ASA Monitor, July 2021
With every surgery and procedure, all of us make a commitment to safeguard the lives of our patients and maintain the trust they place in us. Our team-based model of care ensures their safety and provides the highest-quality care.
We value you, our partnership, and how our training and skills complement each other. We are better together. Our teamwork is not only proven and successful, it also makes a difference in the care we provide, at all times and especially when a patient’s life is on the line. It’s a difference we know many of you recognize and value, too.
Just as we are committed to protecting our patients and ensuring their trust, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is also dedicated to working together with you. We do not believe the leaders of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) share that commitment.
AANA’s aggressive actions to advance the nurse-only practice model threaten our relationship and may not reflect your personal professional goals. Their initiative for you to adopt the term “anesthesiologist” and their plans for an organizational name change are less about advancing your profession and interests, and more about disrupting our teams in the clinical setting. Their actions do not reflect your professional aims or the teamwork we share every day as we work together to serve our patients and anesthesia groups, hospitals, and surgery centers.
We chose our professions because we love what we do, and the patient care we provide. We cannot let the misguided initiatives from AANA leadership distract from our patients and their best interests.
Please join us in maintaining our anesthesia care team and our commitment to one another. Our patients’ lives depend on us.