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Nurse anesthetists caring for America

January 20, 2013
Reinbeck Courier

Certified registered nurse anesthetists celebrate National Nurse Anesthetists Week at Grundy County Memorial Hospital. Administering anesthesia across the United States for 150 years, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) from Grundy Center and thousands of their colleagues from around the country are celebrating this year's 14th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week campaign taking place, January 20 26, 2013.

With a history spanning back to the Civil War, nurse anesthetists have remained at the head of the table every moment of their patients' procedures, administering their anesthetics, monitoring their vital signs, and helping to ensure that each year millions of patients receive the safest anesthesia care possible.

"One of the many rewards of being a nurse anesthetist is providing patients with the comfort of knowing that I will be by their side monitoring their vital signs and adjusting their anesthetics to ensure a comfortable and safe anesthesia experience," said J. Craig Vana, MSN, CRNA, ARNP. "National Nurse Anesthetists Week serves as an opportunity to inform the public exactly what CRNAs do and who we are."

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J. Craig Vana, MSN, CRNA, ARNP, is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Grundy County Memorial Hospital.

Nurse anesthetists are Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) who administer approximately 33 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is available, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in the vast majority of rural hospitals, and almost 100% of Iowa's Rural Hospitals. CRNAs are also the main provider of anesthesia care to US service men and women on the front lines since World War I.

"I take pride in belonging to a profession that has been at the forefront of anesthesia patient safety for 150 years. CRNAs play a key role in developing trends related to monitoring technology, anesthetic drugs, and standards of care. In fact, due to continuing research and education, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was 20 years ago," said Vana.

National Nurse Anesthetist Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), and was created to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity to educate the public about anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery, and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from a nurse anesthetist. To learn more about the AANA visit

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization for more than 45,000 nurse anesthetists. As advanced practice registered nurses, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 33 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States. CRNAs practice in every setting where anesthesia is available and in some states are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly 100 percent of all rural hospitals. Additional information about the AANA is available on the Internet at

For more information about GCMH services, please visit at or call (319) 824-5421.



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