Let us help you prepare for your upcoming anesthetic.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) practicing in the state of Iowa, know that patients and the citizens of this state may have many questions regarding the various types of anesthesia and delivery of anesthesia. IANA has created this webpage to help educate and answer these questions prior to your upcoming surgery, childbirth, pain management intervention, or other procedures requiring anesthesia. IANA wants you to become an educated and informed “member” in your own anesthetic care team.

Anesthesia is freedom from pain. Each year, millions of people in the United States undergo some form of medical treatment requiring anesthesia. Anesthesia, in the hands of qualified professionals like Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), is a safe and effective means of alleviating pain during nearly every type of medical procedure.

Anesthesia care is not confined to surgery alone. It also involves activities that take place both before and after a surgery, obstetrical services, and pain management.

A CRNA is an advanced practice nurse who has received extensive, specialized training in anesthesia. Click here for a brief overview of the specialty of Nurse Anesthesia: http://www.aana.com/ceandeducation/becomeacrna/Pages/Nurse-Anesthetists-at-a-Glance.aspx
In the state of Iowa, there are two types of providers who specialize in anesthesia, CRNA’s and Anesthesiologists. Both are specialty trained to provide all types of anesthesia. At the majority of hospitals in Iowa, anesthesia is delivered by a CRNA. Iowa CRNA’s are the sole provider of all anesthesia services in 88 of 118 hospitals throughout the state. There are some hospitals in the state that utilize an anesthesia care team model. This means that the CRNA is working with an anesthesiologist. If your anesthetic is being delivered via the anesthesia care team model the CRNA will be the one with you throughout the duration of your anesthetic. Whatever the anesthetic model practiced at your hospital, you can be ensured that your CRNA will work in collaboration with your surgeon, obstetrician, dentist or podiatrist to deliver the safest anesthetic for you during your procedure.
During a preoperative interview with your anesthesia professional, they will review your medical history, ask any additional pertinent questions, and determine which anesthetic is best for you and your procedure. For additional information on what questions you can expect and what to do before surgery please click below. http://www.aana.com/forpatients/Pages/Preparing-for-Anesthesia.aspx

Are there different types of anesthesia?

There are three basic types of anesthesia:

Monitored anesthesia care: This type of anesthesia is often referred to as local or sedation anesthesia. The goal is to make sure you are relaxed and comfortable while a procedure is completed. http://www.aana.com/forpatients/Documents/sedation_brochure03.pdf

Regional anesthesia: This type of anesthesia utilizes local anesthetic, or numbing medicine, to produce a loss of sensation to a specific region of the body. Regional anesthesia can be utilized as the primary type of anesthesia or in conjunction with sedation or general anesthesia. Some common types of regional anesthesia include, spinal and epidural anesthesia – used for lower extremity and abdominal surgery; interscalene – used for shoulder surgery; femoral – used for knee surgery; and IV blocks – used for hand and wrist surgery.

General anesthesia: This type of anesthesia utilizes Intravenous or inhaled medication to produce a loss of sensation throughout the entire body. You are completely asleep with this type of anesthesia. Each method of anesthesia has specific benefits and uses. Your anesthesia provider will work with you and your surgeon to determine the best and safest method for you and your procedure. Often multiple types of anesthesia are utilized to provide the best overall outcome.

Your nurse anesthetist stays with you for the entire procedure, constantly monitoring every important function of your body and individually modifying your anesthetic to ensure your maximum safety and comfort.

Once your procedure is complete, your nurse anesthetist will determine the safest location for you to recover. They will discuss your history and needs with the nurse who will be taking care of you throughout your recovery. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please be sure to let your nurse know and they will contact your anesthesia provider.

Yes. The most common chronic pain care services provided by CRNAs, such as anesthetic injections near nerves, effectively reduce a patient’s need for prescription narcotics and opioids. Chronic intractable pain afflicts more than 100 million Americans and costs the United States over $600 billion per year. CRNAs are specifically trained and qualified to treat pain patients. Patients referred to a CRNA for pain care can be confident that their experience will be safe and appropriate. It may even change their quality of life for the better.
Nurse Anesthetists are trained to provide multiple anesthetic options for obstetrical patients. They will work with you and your OB provider to determine the best method of pain control based on your individual needs. Anesthesia Options for Labor and Delivery


For additional information please visit the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Patient Information page. There is a tremendous amount of great information all geared to helping you have the best anesthetic experience possible. All About Anesthesia

IANA is always willing to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have. We encourage you to contact the facility where you will be having your procedure to speak directly with an anesthesia provider who will be working with you. If you have further questions please contact us [email protected]
Thank you for visiting our site and we hope this information is helpful.

If you have any suggestions on additional information we can provide please let us know! IANA would like to thank the AANA for their assistance and contributions to the material provided.


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