The ASAs campaign has been completely devoid of evidence but they have gotten away with it because they have utilized the media to their advantage as with this Facebook example. These days people spend a lot of time on social media and tend to obtain a lot of their information that way many getting duped by total nonsense. Unfortunately very few people actually take the time to find real information from legitimate sources. Through out our last discussion we saw that there is in fact sufficient evidence to prove that CRNAs are as safe as anesthesiologists but there continues to be a disconnect between this information and the public. And so I completely agree with that colleagues statement; I believe the CRNA associations need to start writing and circulating the research articles to prove otherwise. While it is important to continue new research endeavors to build more evidence to fight the VAs ruling and other decisions like it I believe at this time it is imperative to focus on effectively disseminating the information already available in ways which will easily reach the lay public. Perhaps utilizing things like videos posted on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube which people commonly use to look for information. These videos could explain what CRNAs do their safety cost-effectiveness while making emphasis on the training necessary to become a CRNA and the difference to a staff RN as well as the fact that CRNAs are equivalent to anesthesiologists. It can also make mention of the research already done to support these claims and post links to the articles for further reading. There could also be videos of interviews done with patients that have been treated by CRNAs and what their experiences were.
There is a lot of work left to be done and we as SRNAs can join the AANA in its mission to advance the science of anesthesia through education and research in many ways. The AANA supports and sometimes funds research conducted by SRNAs. This research can be presented through the State of Science Oral or General Poster Presentations for which they could be $1000 award. The research can also be presented through the AANA NewsBulletin in a designated section to research called Discoveries of Distinction.
Other ways that SRNAs can participate within the AANA can be through the Student Advocate program which was established in 2015. The goal of the program is to have a student acting as a liaison between the AANA and the nurse anesthesia programs. The program is currently attempting to have one student advocate per state but its ultimate goal is to have one student per anesthesia program. Aside from the Student Advocate position the AANA also has a position for a student on the board of trustees. This student keeps the flow of information open between the foundations board of trustees and SRNAs. Students can also showcase their non-anesthesia related talents like singing or playing a musical instrument at fundraising events like that of 2014 The Stars Come out Again. There are also multiple meetings and workshops through out the country SRNAs can be part of like the Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress taking place in September or The Mid-Year Assembly which will take place in Washington D.C. in April 2018 where nurses go to learn about the healthcare policies impacting nurse anesthesia and develop the skills needed to effectively advocate for your profession during meetings with your federal legislators. This will be a good time to learn how we can be most helpful in affecting change as with the current VA debate.