Posted by Dave J. on December 20, 2008, 1:56 pm, in reply to "(no subject)"
I started nursing school years ago with the plan of becoming a CRNA. However if I were to graduate today with a health related degree and found at that point I had an interest in anesthesia, then AA is the way to go. I would be simply building on the degree I already have rather than going back to get a BS in nursing and then having to do a year or more in ICU before I can even apply for anesthesia school. I see absolutely nothing wrong with the AA concept as long as the AAs are the ones who determine their scope of practice and have the greatest influence over their own licensing laws. The flaw in the AA concept is if they allow themselves to be totally under the thumb of the MDAs in all aspects of their profession. The first suggestion I would make to the AAs is to change their name. Anesthesia Administrator or Anesthesia Associate would clearly break that implied chain to the Anesthesiologists. I personally think it would be to the benefit of everyone if the AAs and CRNAs got together and saw to it that down the road they both were equally trained and in most cases interchangeable. Mainly because with the nursing shortage, the CRNA shortage is not going to go away and we need equally good providers to help cover the cases. In the service I had no problems dealing with Physician Assistants and see no reason that it can not be applied to Anesthesia. (And by the way, many PAs do not work directly with a doctor. Many live miles away covering remote locations such as mines, small towns and ski resorts. That could be done with AAs also provided their training allows it.)