Letters to the Editor

Koch letter: CRNAs help veterans

To reduce wait times for veterans needing health care services, the Veterans’ Administration recently proposed fully utilizing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and other advanced practice nurses throughout VA hospitals (currently only some VA hospitals do that).

Supporters of this change include: numerous veterans groups and health care professional organizations, the AARP, and (at last count) 80 Republican and Democratic members of Congress.

Also supporting this change are:

▪  Nine scientific studies on anesthesia safety published since 2000 (http://www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com/research.php).

▪  An independent assessment of the Veterans Health Administration ordered by Congress in 2015.

▪  An independent federal Commission on Care (2016).

▪  The National Academy of Medicine.

The Boise VA Hospital already uses CRNAs and other advanced practice nurses to the fullest extent possible.

If the VA fails to adopt this new policy, CRNA practice in the Boise VA could be jeopardized. And Idaho veterans might be forced to wait for needed surgical and anesthesia services.

Until Monday, Idahoans who care about the quality and availability of health care services to veterans can urge the VA to allow full practice authority to CRNAs and other advanced practice nurses. Visit www.VeteransAccessToCare.com.

Evan Koch, CRNA, president, Idaho Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Spirit Lake