NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — The last week of January we celebrate National CRNA Week to recognize the vital care nurse anesthetists provide each and every day to patients across the country.

CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 50 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs are among the nation’s most trusted professions according to Gallup.

“There are a lot of things that happen during surgery and procedures that we provide anesthesia for. If you don’t remember us, it’s a good thing, but it’s a good thing too that you have a CRNA at the head of your bed taking care of you the whole time. So we are proud of what we do and we are lucky to be able to do what we do.”

Laurel Meyer, CRNA at CarolinaEast Medical Center

The services of a CRNA are invaluable to both patients and providers. They go through alternate paths of schooling and medical training than anesthesiologists to obtain the CRNA certification. In rural areas, CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care. Some of the services nurse anesthetists provide include:

  • Reviewing patients’ medical histories for allergies or illnesses, thus ensuring safe and effective pain management
  • Administering anesthesia during procedures
  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs during procedures
  • Administering epidurals, spinals, and nerve blocks
  • Ensuring that patients understand the side effects of anesthesia

You can use the #NationalCRNAWeek to show your support to anesthetists in your community.