Open Telmed Logo Trans
Nurse Anesthetist

Who is a Nurse Anesthetist?

A Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is a highly skilled Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) specializing in administering anesthesia and managing pain before, during, and after surgery or medical procedures. They work collaboratively with surgeons, physicians, and other healthcare professionals to ensure patient safety and comfort throughout the care process.

  • Role and Responsibilities:

    • Pre-operative assessment: Evaluate patients’ medical history, allergies, and current medications to determine the most appropriate anesthesia plan.
    • Administering anesthesia: Deliver local, regional, or general anesthesia based on the procedure and patient needs.
    • Monitoring vital signs: Continuously monitor patients’ heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs during the procedure.
    • Pain management: Manage pain before, during, and after surgery, including administering pain medication and implementing non-pharmacological pain management techniques.
    • Patient education: Educate patients about anesthesia options, potential risks and benefits, and post-operative care instructions.

    Training for Telehealth Practice:

    While specific requirements may vary by state, CRNAs seeking to practice telehealth typically need:

    • State licensure for telehealth practice: This might involve additional courses or certifications specific to telehealth regulations.
    • Secure communication technology: Utilize HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platforms to remotely connect with patients and supervise care.
    • Facility agreements: Collaborate with healthcare facilities equipped for telehealth services and have protocols in place for emergency situations.

    Legally Collaborating with Physicians:

    CRNAs can practice telehealth independently for specific services within their scope of practice (e.g., medication management, pain consultations). However, for procedures requiring general anesthesia or complex pain management, collaboration with a supervising physician is often necessary. This collaboration could involve:

    • Physician oversight: The physician establishes the plan of care and provides remote or on-site supervision during procedures.
    • Joint consultations: CRNAs and physicians consult jointly with patients to discuss treatment options and answer questions.
    • Referral network: CRNAs refer patients to physicians for complex medical situations beyond their scope of practice.

    Independent vs. Collaborative Services:

    The specific services a CRNA can perform independently vary by state and practice setting. Some examples of independent services include:

    • Pre-operative consultations: Assessing patients’ health and suitability for specific procedures.
    • Post-operative care: Monitoring patients’ recovery and managing pain remotely.
    • Chronic pain management: Providing ongoing consultations and medication management for chronic pain conditions.

    Collaborative services with physician supervision might involve:

    • Administering general anesthesia: Ensuring patient safety throughout procedures requiring deeper sedation.
    • Managing complex pain cases: Working alongside physicians to address complex pain management needs.
    • Performing invasive procedures: Collaborating with physicians for procedures requiring specialized skills or equipment.

    Financial Viability of Telehealth Practice:

    OpenTelemed highlights the potential financial benefits of CRNAs starting their own telehealth practices. This can be attributed to:

    • Increased access to patients: Reaching patients in remote areas or facing physical limitations.
    • Reduced overhead costs: Avoiding the expenses of maintaining a physical office space.
    • Flexible work schedule: Balancing work with personal life more effectively.

    Empowering CRNAs with OpenTelemed:

    OpenTelemed emphasizes its commitment to supporting CRNAs by providing:

    • Legal compliance guidance: Ensuring adherence to telehealth regulations and best practices.
    • Financial resources: Offering tools and strategies to optimize financial success in a telehealth practice.
    • Professional development opportunities: Supporting skill enhancement through training programs and continuing education.
    • Accreditation partnership: Collaborating with CDC and HHS for accredited learning opportunities.
    • Telehealth practice setup program: Assisting CRNAs in establishing and running their own telehealth practices.

    Revolutionizing Healthcare with Collaboration:

    OpenTelemed acknowledges the transformative potential of telehealth in empowering CRNAs to contribute even more significantly to healthcare. By removing geographical barriers and fostering collaboration with physicians and healthcare institutions, telehealth paves the way for CRNAs to:

    • Expand their reach and impact: Serve more patients who might not otherwise have access to specialized care.
    • Enhance their professional satisfaction: Enjoy greater autonomy and flexibility in their practice.
    • Contribute to healthcare advancements: Participate in the evolution of telehealth and its positive impact on patient care.


    Nurse Anesthetists play a vital role in pain management and anesthesia care. Telehealth opens exciting possibilities for them to expand their reach, practice independently, and contribute to revolutionizing healthcare delivery. OpenTelemed aims to be a valuable partner in this journey, empowering CRNAs with the tools and resources to thrive in the ever-evolving telehealth landscape.