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State of CRNAs in BC/Canada


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I’ve seen a few vague mumbling about BC gov endeavouring to train and certify CRNAs. With my own research I’ve found the following article from 2012: 

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/nurse-anesthetists-bc-government-makes-plans-for-expanded-role/wcm/81fba1cb-ebcf-46eb-bca6-e016fd415ac5/amp/

It was around this time that there was lot of conflict between BC anesthesiologists and the MoH. Since it is from 10 years ago it seems that plans for CRNAs have wavered since then. However here is a new letter from the nurse association lobbying for CRNAs (from June 2021). 

https://nnpbc.com/pdfs/policy-and-advocacy/government-engagement/NNPBC-Nurse-Anesthetists.pdf

So maybe the nurses + MoH are pushing for CRNAs again? 

I am wondering if any practicing anesthesiologists or residents can chime in. What kind of advocacy from CAS is there to push back against CRNAs? I feel like we could really champion our Family Practice Anesthetists in a CRNA type roll , making CRNAs redundant (ie Anesthesiologists supervising a few rooms staffed by FPAs even in bigger hospitals, in addition to the FPA/OB/ER family docs which exist in rural areas.

I know we also have an NP-anesthetist roll but all the articles I found were from ~10 years ago and I’m not even sure the programs exist anymore.

someone please give me hope we will not turn out like the US.

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The BC government definitely wants to introduce CRNAs as a cost-saving measure for ORs. They see the lack of anesthesiologists are a major barrier to surgery waitlists, but don't want to spend more to hire them. The only reason CRNAs haven't been introduced is because the anesthesiologists refuse to train them. I have heard the government has even considered flying in CRNAs from the US to help with training.

I don't know if FP anesthetists would be an acceptable alternative for government, as I imagine they would still demand high rates. They want cheap labour, and see nurses as the way to achieve this.

I imagine it is only a matter of time before CRNAs are a thing in BC.

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Anesthesia assistants (which I believe are RTs with additional training) already relieve anesthesiologists during the maintenance phase of anesthesia and preoperatively with art lines and blocks. Of course, the only people who are trained to independently administer anesthesia are FRCPC anesthesiologists and Family Practice Anaesthetists (who themselves are restricted in terms of the cases they can do). There is no role for CRNAs realistically but the government will cut costs wherever possible and the people who suffer the most will be patients.

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