January 20-36 is National CRNA Week: We Salute The CRNAS Serving in Iraq
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAS) are an important part of the health care team - you just may forget that they cared for you. CRNA's are the primary anesthesia providers in rural America, where many anesthesiologists do not want to practice. Their presence enables hospitals in medically underserved areas to provided trauma stabilization, obstetrical and surgical services.
Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who have always been on the front lines, providing anesthesia to wounded soldiers since WWI. Today, CRNA's are serving in Iraq and around the world, caring for the wounded with severe multiple trauma. Like Bill Giles, CRNA, from North Carolina. And Billie Hoyle, CRNA, of Virginia.
CRNA's are not only called upon to care for wounded US soldiers. Take Lt. Colonel Charles M. McDannald - in the field in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, he and his team have helped resuscitate innocent Iraqi people, insurgents and other coalition fighters wounded in the fighting.
If you want to read an amazing account of life as a medic in Iraq, break out the box of tissues and read: The Grimmest Call to Action published in Lakeland, Florida's The Ledger.com January 10, 2007. The Boston Globe ran a series of articles about the same Massachusetts based medical unit - the 399th Combat Support Hospital operating in Mosul. They aren't just coming home, returning to work and forgetting about the troops. Many CRNAS are concerned about the medical and substance abuse problems of returning veterans and actively seeking ways to help them.
CRNAS are the health care providers you won't recognize and won't remember, but they are they watching over you, making sure you are breathing and feeling no pain during procedures.
Thank you lafrancevi for use of photo of Kandahar Air Field Hospital.