Courtroom Turf Battle: Which Professional Should Administer Anesthesia?
The New York Times: Debate Over Who Should Be Allowed To Administer Anesthesia Moves To Courts
The debate pits nurse anesthetists, who specialize in administering anesthesia and maintain that they are well equipped to treat patients on their own, against anesthesiologists, who are physicians and say nurses lack the necessary training. The dispute dates to a 2001 change in Medicare and Medicaid regulations, allowing states to opt out of a requirement that nurse anesthetists be supervised. And it is part of a broader turf war over how much power nurses should have in treating patients (Frosch, 5/1).