- Certifications: BS in Nursing from Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA
- MS in Nursing, Samuel Merritt College, Oakland, CA
AFFILIATIONS & AWARDS
- National Honor Society of Phi Theta Kappa
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
- Montana Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Cara Peterson administers anesthesia at JCHC. She is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Johnson County Healthcare Center.
When asked about her job, Cara happily says,
"I really enjoy being able to use my education. It is rewarding to be able to relieve people’s pain using these skills in anesthesia."
JUST WHAT IS A CRNA?
Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. The CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) credential came into existence in 1956.
Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) play a crucial role in the success of a variety of medical procedures. They work in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other professionals to ensure the safe administration of anesthesia. Some of their responsibilities include providing pain management, assisting with stabilization services, and overseeing patient recovery. These services may be used through all phases of surgery and for diagnostic, obstetrical, and therapeutic procedures as well. Due to their advanced training and the weight of their responsibilities, nurse anesthetists are generally well-compensated professionals.
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) reports that nurse anesthetists first arose during the Civil War to give anesthesia to wounded soldiers.
These days, CRNAs are the main providers of anesthesia in rural and medically underserved regions of the U.S., although those aren’t the only places where they work. Nurse anesthetists are also the main providers of anesthesia to men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces, and can work in a variety of settings. These healthcare professionals must have at least a master’s degree and can practice relatively autonomously.