Burke Introduces Bill To Permit Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists To Issue Medication Orders
Legislation Will Improve Patient Care While Maintaining Safeguards
September 22, 2011
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Columbus - 
State Senator Dave Burke (R- Marysville) announced he recently introduced Senate Bill 228, legislation that would allow Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to issue a medication order that would allow certain medications to be administered to patients by medical professionals when the CNRA is unavailable. Burke introduced the bill after learning that Ohio law does not permit CRNAs to direct another licensed health care professional - such as a Registered Nurse or Respiratory Therapist - to administer a medication for symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, or pain related to the anesthesia to a patient when the CRNA is unable to do so. "Without this change, patients may have to wait for the medication they need until a medication order can be obtained from the supervising physician or the CRNA can administer the medication in person," Burke said. "This delay is not conducive to safe patient care, especially when a CRNA is qualified to issue the order and the licensed health care professional is licensed to administer the medication but simply cannot do so because of current law." Burke noted that his bill does not make changes to the supervisory relationship between CRNAs and physicians and does not authorize other licensed health care professionals to administer anesthesia. "As a CRNA, I have seen the frustration from patients because the supervising physician is not available to order a medication and the nurse anesthetist is not available to administer a medication related to the patient's anesthesia, such as nausea," said Cathy Hoffman, spokesperson for the Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (OSANA). "This bill will allow the CRNA to authorize a licensed nurse to administer the medication to ease the patient's discomfort. Ohioans will have a better patient care experience because of this legislation, and small and rural hospitals will also greatly benefit from it as CRNAs may be the only anesthesia provider at the facility." Senate Bill 228 will now be assigned to a Senate Committee for further review.
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