Voters want doctors, not nurses, in charge of anesthesia

There’s a scope-of-practice battle going on between physician anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

CRNAs say they can handle most anesthesia work without physician supervision, but medical doctors don’t agree. According to a new poll, neither do Florida voters.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy survey, commissioned by the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists (FSA), showed 80 percent of Florida voters thought physician anesthesiologists should be the chief decision-makers in the operating room. Another 15 percent said CRNAs “should be on equal footing” when it comes to anesthesia decisions while 5 percent were unsure.

The number of dissenters was cut in half when asked who they would want in the room if they had to be put under — 92 percent said they wanted the MD on hand, while just 6 percent said they would be fine with a CRNA.

Additionally, 85 percent of those polled told Mason-Dixon that “giving anesthesia to patients is a complicated and difficult job that should only be performed directly by or under the supervision of a trained physician.”

Brad Coker, Mason-Dixon’s CEO and managing director, said “these results make it clear that Floridians strongly favor physician-led anesthesia care. The size of

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