The origins of anaesthetic nursing roles Anaesthesia is the medical condition in which all the pain sensations are temporarily stopped in order to enable the completion of a medical process like surgery. It is caused by use of pharmacologically active components, which are known to cause lack of response to the feeling of pain…
During this time, there were high mortality rates arising from use of anaesthesia during surgical operations. Anaesthetic nursing training evolved in three distinct phases in both Europe and the United States. In the first phase, nurses were initially trained through apprenticeship by surgeons on how to administer anaesthesia. The student nurse was then taken through anaesthesia administration training as part of the second phase in the development of anaesthesia. Specialized training in higher institution of learning began to offer postgraduate training in nursing anaesthesia from the beginning of the 20th century. This was the third phase of anaesthetic training across the globe (Handerfelt, 2006). The first UK anaesthesia was administered in 1945 according to Kane and Smith (2003). Educational qualification for professional anaesthetics was first developed through the introduction of a diploma in anaesthesia for professional nurses. As a result, the faculty of anaesthetics at the Royal College of Surgeons of England was created; a charter granted to the college in 1992 saw it develop to the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The royal college of anaesthetist has a responsibility of ensuring that the quality of patients care is improved in line with the standards of the association. Alice Magaw was called the ‘mother of anaesthesia’ for her pioneer role in the anaesthesia administration. Catholic nuns in the initial development of this nursing profession also played a major role. As many hospitals within this period were developed by religious organisations, the religious leaders had a major role too in the development of this speciality (Bankert, 1989). Initial administration of anaesthesia also met a lot of resistance and theatre room revolt among patients. This was due to the uncontrolled administration of the drug during the early stages of anaesthesia development. Anaesthetic use was then associated with the high number of theatre deaths in the hospitals. This caused public panic and negative awareness on the effects and importance of anaesthesia. A frontier was therefore created for the nurse anaesthetics to prove that their role was meant to save and not to end life (Hadenfelt, 2006). The anaesthetic nursing profession grew and developed during the World War 1 as more nurses were captured and force to serve at the forefront. Today, this is one of the most decorated professions in the military of the United States and anaesthetic nurses are always honoured for their services to the soldiers. After the demand for anaesthetic nurses during the World War 1, most institutions developed nursing anaesthetic programs to help bridge the existing deficit. Nursing anaesthetics are assigned major roles in major hospitals where they educated other nurses and medical interns on anaesthesia (Bankert, 1989). With this profession growing and demand increasing, the American association of nurse anaesthetists (AANA) was formed in 1931 to represent the anaesthetic nurses in the country. This association had a mandate to ensure the promotion of operation standards and provide consultation services to government agencies whenever necessary. The association also ensures that more professional are trained in this profession so as to keep up with the rising demand for anaesthetic services. Different agents have also been used as anaesthesia from the first time this medical application was discovered. Opium, an ...
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