Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Who is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

A CRNA is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who specializes in administering anesthesia and managing pain before, during, and after surgery or other medical procedures. They are highly skilled healthcare professionals with years of education and experience, playing a crucial role in surgical teams and various healthcare settings.

Roles and Responsibilities of a CRNA:

  • Administering anesthesia: This includes choosing the appropriate type and dosage based on the patient’s needs and medical history, monitoring vital signs, and adjusting medications as needed.
  • Pain management: CRNAs develop and implement pain management plans to minimize discomfort before, during, and after procedures.
  • Monitoring patients: They continuously monitor patients’ vital signs, oxygen levels, and other crucial indicators to ensure safety and well-being throughout the procedure.
  • Patient education: CRNAs educate patients about anesthesia, pain management options, and what to expect before, during, and after their procedure.
  • Collaboration with other healthcare professionals: They work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other healthcare providers to ensure comprehensive patient care.

Training for CRNAs in Telehealth:

As telehealth evolves, CRNAs can expand their practice by receiving additional training specifically focused on remote patient care. This might include:

  • Telehealth platforms and technology: Understanding how to use secure video conferencing software, remote monitoring tools, and other telehealth technologies effectively.
  • Telehealth assessment and communication: Learning how to conduct virtual consultations, gather patient information remotely, and effectively communicate with patients and other healthcare providers via telehealth.
  • Legal and ethical considerations: Understanding the specific regulations and ethical guidelines governing telehealth practice for CRNAs in their state and across different geographical locations.

Legally Practicing Telehealth as a CRNA:

Several factors determine how a CRNA can legally practice telehealth:

  • State regulations: Each state has its own laws and regulations governing telehealth practice for CRNAs. Ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations is crucial.
  • Collaboration: In some states, CRNAs might require collaboration with a supervising physician for specific telehealth services. Working with a telehealth organization familiar with these requirements can help navigate these legalities.
  • Technology and platforms: Using HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platforms and secure communication tools is essential for protecting patient privacy and data security.

Independent vs. Collaborative Services:

The scope of independent practice for CRNAs varies by state. Generally, CRNAs can independently perform:

  • Pre-operative assessments and consultations
  • Pain management consultations
  • Administration of specific anesthesia types for certain procedures
  • Post-operative follow-up and monitoring

For more complex procedures or specific medications, collaboration with a physician might be required.

Financial Benefits of Telehealth for CRNAs:

OpenTelemed highlights the potential financial benefits of telehealth for CRNAs, such as:

  • Expanded reach: Telehealth allows CRNAs to serve patients remotely, potentially increasing their patient base and income.
  • Reduced overhead costs: By eliminating the need for physical office space and staff, telehealth can lead to cost savings.
  • Improved work-life balance: Telehealth allows for more flexible scheduling and potentially reduces commuting time, enhancing work-life balance.

OpenTelemed’s Support for CRNAs:

OpenTelemed’s message emphasizes their support for CRNAs, offering:

  • Legal guidance: Helping CRNAs navigate the legal complexities of telehealth practice.
  • Financial planning: Assisting CRNAs with financial considerations and potential revenue streams in telehealth.
  • Professional development: Providing access to training programs and resources to enhance CRNAs’ skills and knowledge in telehealth.
  • Accreditation and training: Offering CDC and HHS-accredited training opportunities for continuous professional development.


OpenTelemed advocates for empowering CRNAs through telehealth platforms and resources, potentially expanding their practice scope, career opportunities, and financial success. While acknowledging existing limitations in some geographical areas, they highlight the potential for CRNAs to contribute significantly to healthcare while enjoying a fulfilling and professionally enriching career path.