abc
QUICK LINKS:

Minn. Doctors Question Nurses Giving Spinal Pain Injections

Updated: 04/21/2014 10:50 PM
Created: 04/21/2014 4:47 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson

A subsection of a large bill going through the Minnesota legislature is causing quite the stir in the health care industry.

The bill (HF 435/SF 511) defines the duties and regulation of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). APRNs include nurse midwives, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse anesthetists. Supporters of the bill say it removes barriers for APRNs by allowing them to do certain work without a collaborative agreement with a physician.

But it's a section regarding registered nurse anesthetists that has doctors in the field of interventional pain medicine worried.

"Not everything in the state capitol is a matter of life or death, but this qualifies," said Dr. Louis Saeger, the president of the Minnesota Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Leaders in the field are traveling the state with a skeleton and needles. They're trying to show lawmakers just how dangerous their work can be.

"The thing about interventional pain management is that if an injection or procedure is done even one millimeter off target it can be the difference between pain relief, serious injury or death," said Dr. Andrew Will, the president of the Minnesota of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians.

The subsection would allow registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to deliver nonsurgical treatments for chronic pain.

Saeger said nurses aren't trained to do the procedures.

"We do not need to lower the standards for a highly complex medical sub-specialty that involves but not limited to highly technical, potentially dangerous procedures," said Saeger.

The Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists (MANA) is a statewide professional organization of CRNAs. They support the legislation, saying the bill would allow for greater access to health care in rural areas.

Julie Hendricks, a CRNA in Duluth and on the association's board, said they aren't looking to expand their work. The group just wants to keep doing what they are doing.

"The CRNAs that are doing the simpler pain procedures right now don't want to harm their patients, but they want to be able to continue to provide the service to their patients that they've developed relationships with," she said.

Hendricks said CRNAs often administer labor epidurals, but a few specially trained in her field do administer pain injections, such as steroid injections.

The same bill died in the capitol four years because of the conflict around chronic pain medication.

The doctors in opposition to the subsection would like to do an informational audit with the Department of Health to get a better idea of what CRNAs do in Minnesota before they come up with an amendment.

Front Page

  • Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction

    Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year.  With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year

  • Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home. 

  • Funding for Military Funeral Personnel Restored

    On Thursday, Rep. Rick Nolan received a letter from the Secretary of the Army that funding for the playing of "Taps," a rifle salute, and delivering a folded American flag will be restored.

  • Preparing for Ebola: Health System Working Together

    People who work in the Northland's health system are communicating on a regular basis, to prepare for Ebola, even though it's unlikely to appear here.

  • St. Luke's Honored by American Heart Association

    St. Luke's received three honors from the American Heart Association on Thursday, for their approach and teamwork when taking care of heart and stroke patients.

 

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

WI AREAS AFFECTED: Iron
Expires: 10/31/2014 11:00 AM

Lake Effect Snow Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Ontonagon; Southern Houghton
Expires: 10/31/2014 12:00 PM

Lakeshore Flood Advisory

MI AREAS AFFECTED: Alger; Baraga; Gogebic; Houghton; Keweenaw; Marquette; Ontonagon
Expires: 10/31/2014 2:00 PM

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement