Patients Deserve Honesty About Who Is Providing Their Anesthesia Care
Patients deserve truth and transparency in health care so they can make the best choices for themselves and their loved ones. That’s why it is so alarming that the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is engaged in activities that will mislead patients about which professionals are best-equipped to provide anesthesia care.
AANA’s Misrepresentations Will Mislead Patients
AANA plans to change its name in August 2021 to the American Association of Nurse “Anesthesiology” and is pushing for its members to adopt the title “nurse anesthesiologist.” This title misappropriation is blatantly misleading.
A physician anesthesiologist is a medical doctor. A nurse “anesthesiologist” is not. This is not a new distinction. Since its first use in 1922, “anesthesiologist” has always referred to a physician trained in the medical science of anesthesiology.
The American Medical Association, the American Board of Anesthesiology, and the American Board of Medical Specialties affirm that anesthesiology is a medical specialty and that professionals who refer to themselves as “anesthesiologists” must hold a license to practice medicine.
“To use the term ‘anesthesiologist’ incorrectly will confuse patients and violate the universally accepted ethical principle in health care that patients must have full knowledge and understanding of who the professionals are that are providing their care.”
—Dr. Beverly K. Philip, President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists
AANA’s Actions May Deceive Policymakers
Why is AANA forging ahead with its misleading title changes despite widespread objections from the medical community? The answer lies in AANA’s campaign to win policymakers’ approval for nurse anesthetists to expand their scope of practice to provide anesthesia care without a physician anesthesiologist’s supervision or involvement.
AANA’s change in terminology is just its latest misrepresentation, which fits into a pattern of deception. AANA artificially inflates nurse anesthetists’ education, licensure, certification, and expertise and distorts data about patient safety, health care costs, and health care access.
AANA’s Misrepresentations - Facts and Deceptions