North Carolina Residents Collectively Against Legislation To License Anesthesia Assistants

Survey Finds Senior Citizens and Women as Most Likely to Oppose

Raleigh, NC, September 26, 2006 --( North Carolina residents are opposed to the concept of licensing Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs) in the state and have even greater discomfort with the concept of having to use an AA personally to receive care, according to a survey conducted by the Glengariff Group, of Chicago.

A 600-person random telephone survey found that 82% of North Carolinians oppose legislation allowing trained assistants to administer anesthesia under the supervision of a doctor, with 70% of the state declaring themselves strongly opposed to the legislation. Opposition was higher among senior citizens and women, with 89% of residents over 65 years of age in opposition, along with 87% of women.

When facts addressing AA training and supervision were provided, opposition to their licensure grew to an alarming 91%. AAs have significantly less stringent education and experience requirements than Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists or anesthesiologist, the two groups currently licensed to provide anesthesia in North Carolina.

Survey results also found that 86% of North Carolina residents would be uncomfortable is someone rather than a register nurse or a licensed doctor administered their anesthesia, with 72% listing themselves as very uncomfortable.

“In an era where polls often find the state split on important issues, to have more than 8 out of 10 North Carolinians opposed to this bill is really saying something,” said Sherry Owens, president of the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA), which sponsored the research. “It’s clear that the idea of having a lesser trained individual in charge of something as important as anesthesia care just didn’t resonate in our state. When you’re ‘going under’ for surgery, it’s only natural that you would want well trained people caring for you.”

The Glengariff Group, Inc. conducted the survey on June 21-22, 2006. The sample is based on North Carolina population and is stratified by region, gender, ethnicity and age. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4%.

About The North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists:
The North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists is a statewide organization representing the more than 2,800 licensed Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists in the state. More information is available at

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