Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists’ Perceptions of Peri-Operative Occupational Hazards during Pregnancy and Strategies to Minimize Risk
McDonell, Margaret Davis
There is a lack of current literature focused on the occupational hazards that pregnant anesthesia providers are exposed to in the workplace. In the 1960s evidence indicated that pregnant nurse anesthetists are exposed to occupational hazards in the form of waste anesthetic gases while providing anesthesia. Since then, other hazards have been identified and researched, including ionizing radiation, methyl-methacrylate, antineoplastic agents, physically demanding workload, infection, and noise. Some risks have been minimized by developments in personal protective equipment, modern facility systems, regulations, and education; however, an assessment of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists’ perceptions of the hazards has not been researched. This study was done to better understand the CRNAs concerns regarding occupational hazards during pregnancy and the strategies used to minimize risk. After completing a thorough literature review, a survey was sent to AANA members. The results showed that the perceived occupational risks associated with waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) and ionizing radiation aligned with the actual risk, while the perception of risk regarding methyl-methacrylate may be excessive in light of the evidence, and the occupational risk associated with loud noise appeared underappreciated.
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