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Composition of the anaesthesia team: a European survey

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Abstract
Background and objective The anaesthesia workforce in Europe is understaffed and may not meet the growing demands of surgery. In many European countries where responsibilities can be identified and a varying degree of task substitution occurs, the anaesthesia service is provided by a team of physician and nonphysician anaesthesia members. This study assesses the availability, as well as the roles and functions, of nonphysician anaesthesia team members in European countries. Methods A survey was carried out to examine differences in anaesthesia practices and the strength of the anaesthesia workforce in Europe. A questionnaire, seeking information about perioperative anaesthesia input by nonphysician anaesthesia team members, was sent to all the national representatives of the Union of European Medical Specialists Anaesthesiology section and the International Federation of Nurse Anaesthetists. Results The responses to the questionnaire revealed that each European country has its own unique type of nonphysician anaesthesia team member and the roles of these vary substantially. Their levels of organisation vary from country to country and whereas nurse anaesthetists are often well organised, circulation nurses are not. Conclusion The present study demonstrated the heterogeneity and variety of anaesthesia practices throughout Europe. Standardisation of the training and practice of European nurse anaesthetists is desirable for patient safety and quality of care if they seek to work in more than one European country. Those countries that anticipate a shortfall in the supply of anaesthesiologists should examine working models from other countries that currently work with fewer physicians and more nurse anaesthetists.
Keywords
circulation nurse, anaesthesia team members, Europe, nurse anaesthetist, JOB-SATISFACTION

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Chicago
Meeusen, Vera, Adrien Van Zundert, Jaap Hoekman, Chandra Kumar, Narinder Rawal, and Hans Knape. 2010. “Composition of the Anaesthesia Team: a European Survey.” European Journal of Anaesthesiology 27 (9): 773–779.
APA
Meeusen, Vera, Van Zundert, A., Hoekman, J., Kumar, C., Rawal, N., & Knape, H. (2010). Composition of the anaesthesia team: a European survey. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIOLOGY, 27(9), 773–779.
Vancouver
1.
Meeusen V, Van Zundert A, Hoekman J, Kumar C, Rawal N, Knape H. Composition of the anaesthesia team: a European survey. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIOLOGY. 2010;27(9):773–9.
MLA
Meeusen, Vera, Adrien Van Zundert, Jaap Hoekman, et al. “Composition of the Anaesthesia Team: a European Survey.” EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIOLOGY 27.9 (2010): 773–779. Print.
@article{2009992,
  abstract     = {Background and objective The anaesthesia workforce in Europe is understaffed and may not meet the growing demands of surgery. In many European countries where responsibilities can be identified and a varying degree of task substitution occurs, the anaesthesia service is provided by a team of physician and nonphysician anaesthesia members. This study assesses the availability, as well as the roles and functions, of nonphysician anaesthesia team members in European countries. 
Methods A survey was carried out to examine differences in anaesthesia practices and the strength of the anaesthesia workforce in Europe. A questionnaire, seeking information about perioperative anaesthesia input by nonphysician anaesthesia team members, was sent to all the national representatives of the Union of European Medical Specialists Anaesthesiology section and the International Federation of Nurse Anaesthetists. 
Results The responses to the questionnaire revealed that each European country has its own unique type of nonphysician anaesthesia team member and the roles of these vary substantially. Their levels of organisation vary from country to country and whereas nurse anaesthetists are often well organised, circulation nurses are not. 
Conclusion The present study demonstrated the heterogeneity and variety of anaesthesia practices throughout Europe. Standardisation of the training and practice of European nurse anaesthetists is desirable for patient safety and quality of care if they seek to work in more than one European country. Those countries that anticipate a shortfall in the supply of anaesthesiologists should examine working models from other countries that currently work with fewer physicians and more nurse anaesthetists.},
  author       = {Meeusen, Vera and Van Zundert, Adrien and Hoekman, Jaap and Kumar, Chandra and Rawal, Narinder and Knape, Hans},
  issn         = {0265-0215},
  journal      = {EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {circulation nurse,anaesthesia team members,Europe,nurse anaesthetist,JOB-SATISFACTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {773--779},
  title        = {Composition of the anaesthesia team: a European survey},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EJA.0b013e32833d925b},
  volume       = {27},
  year         = {2010},
}

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