Conscious sedation--a form an anesthesia in which medication is used to help a patient relax during a medical procedure--has become a popular alternative to general anesthesia in recent years. This is placed pressure on busy anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists to administer the drugs, and some surgeons would like to be able to carry out the procedure themselves. But safety experts warn that anesthesia is tricky and must be performed by a trained professional. The fact that state regulation of the procedures varies greatly doesn't make the situation any safer. This fall, The University HealthSystem Consortium is rolling out guidelines that outline the best practices for administering anesthesia. Hospitals are also adopting stricter standards that require certification training every two years.
- read this WSJ article for more (sub. req.)
ALSO: As noted in a previous issue of FierceHealthcare, nurse anesthetists seem quite happy in their careers. That at least bodes well for the future of the profession.