Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

What is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)?

CRNAs are advanced registered nurse practitioners who are trained to provide anesthesia. They work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists and other health care professionals.

What can CRNAs do?

CRNAs perform all stages of anesthesia. They can:

  • Assess and evaluate a patient before surgery
  • Develop an anesthesia plan for a patient
  • Begin a patient’s anesthesia, which may include general, regional, local and sedation forms
  • Manage a patient’s airway and respiratory status
  • Monitor a patient’s recovery, discharge, and follow-up
  • Begin pain management treatments
  • Respond to emergency situations by making sure the patient can breathe properly, giving emergency fluids and drugs and performing cardiac life support

CRNAs practice in every clinical setting in which anesthesia is given. These settings may include hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; same-day surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs health care facilities.

How Are CRNAs educated and trained?

CRNAs have a graduate-level education. This includes one year of critical care experience. CRNAs also must complete an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program and pass a national certification exam.

CRNAs at Swedish

Swedish Medical Group employs CRNAs at Swedish Ballard Hospital to provide anesthetics in the operating room and for obstetric services. They work under the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist.