To The Editor:
I would like to commend Mike Lee and Denver's Nursing Star for your Oct. 27 coverage of the issue of physician supervision of nurse anesthetists and the Colorado Society of Anesthesiologists' efforts to maintain this vital public safety net.
Please allow me to make two brief comments. First, I would like to correct a quote attributed to me in the article. Regarding the proposed removal of the 40-year-old Medicare physician supervision requirement, my quote in paragraph 12 should have read, "The argument that rural patients would benefit (from this change) is astounding."
A different word was printed in the original article.
Second, I would like to call your readers' attention to the parallels between our argument with the governor and what has been happening in the nursing field for some time. Registered nurses have rightly resisted a diminution of their critical role in patient care and the assignment of what must be an RN's responsibilities to non-RNs with lesser education and experience. A simple edict, whether it is by an administrator or a politician, cannot replace long years of education and experience. Patient care is compromised when any practitioner tries to gain through political and administrative decisions what they have not accomplished through education and training.
The RNs I talk to in the operating room and PACU consistently agree. Patient safety demands continued physician supervision of nurse anesthetists. It has been the standard longer than anyone can remember, it is still the law in Colorado, and common sense tells us it will continue to serve all of our patients well.