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Nurse Anesthetists Association hopes new legislation will give them more power over care

Boris Ott

New legislation is aimed at giving nurse anesthetists the authority to approve the use of anesthesia - something that currently requires the approval of a physician.

Howie Drews is the President of the Michigan Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He said requiring nurses to get the approval of physicians before administering anesthesia is costly and cumbersome.

“Where does it makes sense to require a physician with little or no training to sign a piece of paper to allow the trained expert in giving anesthesia to give anesthesia.

Republican State Senator Mike Kowall is the bills sponsor. He said when there isn’t someone on staff to approve the use of anesthesia it can mean pushing care to another hospital.

“Hospitals in the northern part of the state they might not have a full time anesthesiologist on duty so it would not allow them to do planned surgeries.”

According to officials with the Association of Nurse Anesthetists 40 other states already have procedures in place to allow nurse anesthetists to approve anesthesia use.

The bill has not yet been introduced because bill sponsors say they want to make sure they get it right.