Like many health services, anesthesiology faces a shortage of qualified providers. The diminished supply of providers coupled with an increasing demand for anesthesia services challenges hospitals, surgical centers and anesthesia provider groups. The supply and demand problem contributed to an increased need for mid-level anesthesia providers, such as certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and anesthesiology assistants (AA). In that regard, you could say anesthesiology is ahead of the curve.
Two recent articles in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) underscore the universal need for qualified health providers. Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice examines the need for expanding the scope of practice for advanced-practice registered nurses, particularly in light of the recently enacted Affordable Care Act.
The second article, Nurses for the Future, discusses the October 5, 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that recommends initiating efforts for increasing the percentage of nurses in the United States who hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
As noted in Correspondence to the editors of NEJM regarding Nurses’ Scope in Practice, “health care professionals will need to continue working together” in meeting the demands for health care. A rising trend in the healthcare industry uses team care models that focus on quality of care and improved efficiencies by employing the collective skills of qualified professionals.
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