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Nurse Anesthetists Applaud Release of New IOM Report on Pain

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) applauded the Institute of Medicine (IOM) release of a new report identifying pain as a serious public health problem, and expressed appreciation and support for the IOM's initiative to improve pain care, education and research.

The 42,000 member AANA is a supporting organization of the Pain Care Act which authorized the undertaking of the landmark study.

Commissioned by the U.S. Congress, the IOM report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Researchdraws attention to the human and economic costs of pain, which it says is an epidemic affecting one in every four Americans.

Among many recommendations, the IOM committee which wrote the report is calling for "coordinated, national efforts of public and private organizations to create a cultural transformation in how the nation understands and approaches pain management and prevention." Some of the recommended changes can be implemented by the end of 2012 while others should be in place by 2015 and maintained as ongoing efforts. Read more about the IOM committee's recommendations here.   

Ensuring patient access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care and pain management has long been the mission of the AANA, whose members are advanced practice registered nurses specializing in these areas.

"The AANA is extremely grateful to Congress for recognizing the need for this study and to the IOM for achieving such impressive results," said Christine Zambricki, CRNA, MS, FAAN, deputy executive director of the AANA.  "The work done so far, and the work that lies ahead, has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of pain and offer relief for the millions of Americans who live with pain day in and day out. As an organization representing anesthesia specialists, many of our members practice in pain management settings so the AANA's support of this research is a natural association."

The ultimate goal of the IOM study is to lessen the toll in human suffering caused by pain, while identifying economical alternatives that reduce healthcare and lost-opportunity costs.   

"CRNAs see firsthand the grave effects chronic pain has on patients. We anticipate that the study, along with the involvement of the IOM and leading healthcare and patient advocacy organizations that have already signed on to support this initiative, will encourage other organizations to join the cause of advancing pain management," Zambricki added.

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, IL, AANA is the professional organization for more than 42,000 CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists.  As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs administer approximately 32 million anesthetics to patients in the U.S. each year.

National News Archives
  Last Post: September 4, 2012 | View Comments(2)

With the Institute of Medicine reporting in “Relieving Pain in America” that approximately 100 million Americans suffer from unrelenting chronic pain, healthcare professionals including advanced practice nurses such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are absolutely required and ready to address this patient need.

Pain management is a newly evolving field. The educational preparation of CRNAs ensures that they have the foundation of knowledge and skills required to provide chronic pain management services, which are part of the continuum of anesthesia care that extends from local pain relief to general anesthesia. Those CRNAs providing pain management today have obtained the necessary knowledge. skills and expertise through workshops, cadaver labs, lectures and supervised clinical experience. All professions should work together to build upon this solid base of knowledge, increasing their understanding of the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of chronic pain in order to improve access to quality pain care in this country. In this way we can enhance the quality of life and the psychological well being of our patients.

Physician-run “pill mills” are a particularly vexing problem in contemporary society. Not only do most CRNA pain management services reduce patient need for prescription pain medications taken at home; the profession of nurse anesthesia has been diligent and effective at work with the Drug Enforcement Agency to promote evidence-based Risk Evaluation and Management Systems (REMS) intended to curtail diversion and misuse of narcotic and opioid medications. All healthcare professionals must vigilantly reduce “pill mills” through professional education and sanctions where necessary.

Christine ZambrickiSeptember 04, 2012

THe IOM study doesnt call for raising the standard of care for people in pain-nor does it provide people with pain more rights to receive better pain care. The IOm study calls people in chronic pain "catastrophizers" and indicates they dont believe in curative treatment. The IOm report is more of the same- top down medicocentric pain care that has lead to "the massive failure to assess and treat pain" will continue and doctors and pain advocates will continue to try and convince others that pain is important -for many years to come. If medicine wants to improve pain care-theres nothing stopping thems-accept themselves

david beckerJuly 05, 2011
bronx, NY


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