As an advance practice curse and nurse practitioner, I take personal exception to Dr. Alexander Hannenberg's letter comparing nurse anesthetists to teachers' aides or nurses' aides (Readers respond, Sept. 23). As president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, he surely is aware that members of his profession are the ones who developed the nurse anesthetist role out of need, train the nurses and rely heavily on their expertise as part of the medical team.
He also is surely aware that with health care reform now here, there will be an even greater need for highly trained nurses to collaborate with doctors. Having worked as a nurse practitioner for over 30 years, I have mostly had good working relationships with physicians and have felt like an important member of the team. I only hope that Dr. Hannenberg is an exception.