For Immediate Release
May 21, 2020
Contact: Ryan E Poppe
Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists Recognizes the Contributions of CRNAs
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Play Integral Role in Texas’ Health Care System
National Nurses Month and COVID-19 Pandemic Shine Light on Importance of CRNAs
Austin, Texas— As Texans continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA) today shared stories from the front lines about the ways Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are leaning in to provide the advanced practice, critical care needed by many hospitals and patients as this pandemic continues.
TxANA represents more than 4,500 CRNAs in Texas and this May, as the country celebrates National Nurses Month, TxANA is highlighting the sacrifice and service CRNAs are providing in and out of the operating rooms, hospitals and other health care facilities where they work.
CRNAs are Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) who safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics in the United States each year. As the primary hands-on provider of anesthesia care in both civilian and military health care settings, CRNAs practice in every type of facility where anesthesia is required for patient care.
“From New York City to rural Texas, CRNAs are supporting patients and their colleagues in hospitals,” said Matthew J. Mitchell, CRNA, and TxANA President. “CRNAs are uniquely equipped to manage the significant respiratory issues that manifest in severe COVID-19 cases, but they’re also stepping up to support their local communities in other ways.”
A few examples of the ways Texas CRNAs are making a difference:
- CRNAs making a difference beyond Texas: Anne Quasnitschka, a TxANA member from the Fort Worth area, is a CRNA who recently answered New York City’s call for health professionals to provide relief in facilities overrun by the virus. Quasntischka noted that CRNAs have a specialized skillset of particular value under these extreme circumstances. “We can help with a facility’s respiratory needs. We can perform intensive and critical care work because our skillset as CRNAs translates well into so many areas beyond anesthesia care,” Quansnitschka said.
- CRNAs making a difference in rural, underserved communities: As many rural hospitals stand ready for possible increased demands with the COVID-19 pandemic, TxANA members are stepping up. Andrea Malcolm, CRNA, was once the sole provider of anesthesia care at her rural facility. Malcolm now educates other health care professionals on how to operate a ventilator, tracks down available critical care supplies, and readies the facility for COVID-19 patients.
- CRNAs making a difference through volunteer efforts: To protect those caring for one of Texas’ most vulnerable populations, DeaAnn Martin, CRNA, and her colleagues are helping provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to those working at nursing homes in North Texas. Martin and her colleagues hope the assistance will be uplifting and reassuring for the staff at these facilities.
“We’ve known for some time most rural hospitals in Texas have relied on CRNAs as the sole provider of anesthesia care. CRNAs like Andrea Malcom are training others on how to operate ventilator machines as her rural facility prepares for any potential future surge of COVID-19 patients.” said Greg Collins, DNP, CRNA, and TxANA President-Elect. “TxANA sends our thanks to Texas CRNAs who have taken on new roles serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and to those who are volunteering and pitching in across our state in so many ways. CRNAs are making a difference!”
As they have for more than 150 years, CRNAs are, administering anesthesia, monitoring the patient’s vital signs, and managing emergencies. Each year, CRNAs ensure that millions of patients throughout the nation receive the safest anesthesia care possible.
“As we confront this global pandemic, the importance of CRNAs to patients and our health care system is even more evident. TxANA thanks CRNAs for their tireless and ongoing dedication to advancing patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia,” added Mitchell.
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TxANA’s mission is advancing patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia. The membership is limited to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) who are members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). Today there are over 48,000 CRNAs practicing throughout the United States, of which, over 4,500 are located in Texas.
The TxANA office is located at:
919 Congress Ave., Suite 720
Austin, Texas 78701
Online at: www.txana.org
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