As students, it looks like there are many ways we can be actively involved. We can take part in the AANA Student Writing Contest, play in the Anesthesia College Bowl, serve on different committees such as 1) education 2) practice, public relations, and health and wellness 3) the CRNA political action committee, and attend the Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress meetings (which combines networking, evidence-based education, and the latest technological advances in anesthesia in a new location every year).
As students, it looks like there are many ways we can be actively involved. We can take part in the AANA Student Writing Contest, play in the Anesthesia College Bowl, serve on different committees such as 1) education 2) practice, public relations, and health and wellness 3) the CRNA political action committee, and attend the Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress meetings (which combines networking, evidence-based education, and the latest technological advances in anesthesia in a new location every year). Something that I really support is the Student Mentoring Program that’s coordinated by the AANA Communications Committee. Every year at the AANA Mid-Year Assembly, a group of SRNAs get to spend a day with experienced CRNA leaders. This allows networking which I think is really important for our profession and the primary goal of this program is to “mentor and produce future leaders of the AANA”. Past CRNAs have worked and lobbied so hard for our profession – we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for those who have fought and advocated for us.
One of our classmates mentioned in DB #3 that since physician anesthesiologists make so much money, they are probably able to put a lot more money into the ASA. While that is probably true, we should not let that deter us. We could donate to the AANA as much as we can even if it’s $20 and we can have fundraisers to help raise money too. The RISE Above Campaign is seeking to do what we all as students agree on and wish the public were better informed on – to prove the value and worth of CRNAs. This is a three year campaign that aims to “raise $1 million to fund Health Services Research that will inform healthcare policy affecting patient care processes and patient/provider interactions” (RISE Above).
There is a website called “The Future of Anesthesia Care Today” and it is awesome. It talks about who we are, what our education and training is like, and why we are the most cost-effective choice when it comes to choosing an anesthesia provider. This website has numerous research studies to back up what they are recommending. It would be nice if we could somehow direct a lot of traffic to this website and maybe distribute it on social media to help with public awareness.
Something that interests me personally as far as “gaps in the literature” goes – I wasn’t able to find any publications or abstracts on CRNAs vs dental anesthesia providers regarding patient safety and outcomes. I also couldn’t find much research on neonates and the OB population – I’m sure after starting clinicals next year, topics will come to mind that I might want to further explore.
I agree with my classmate in that it wouldn’t hurt to have more CRNA research. After looking over the AANA website, it looks like much research has been done or is happening currently. But I think we need to think of better ways to help distribute that research, especially to the public and to politicians. As politicians and state laws have a direct influence on how we are allowed to practice, where we can practice independently and whatnot, maybe we can meet with the politicians of all the non opt-out states to see where they get their influences from, how they came to their decision, and what we can do to convince them that we should be allowed to practice independently (I believe one of our classmates came up with this idea first, courtesy of John and I support his idea). Other classmates have mentioned using social media as that is something that is very popular and a good way to help reach millions. Johnson&Johnson has a “Discover Nursing” Campaign with TV commercials and a website dedicated to achieving a nursing career with information on how to become a nurse, NCLEX study tips, job interview advice, and so much more. It would be nice to have a “Discover CRNA” Campaign. Maybe as student CRNAs, we can volunteer at local high schools and introduce our profession on a career day or go to nursing schools and talk about who we are and what we do. Our research is strong and we have a lot of it but what good is it if we only circulate it amongst ourselves? I really think we should continue to advocate for our profession, be active in the AANA, and help educate the public on who we are.