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October 12, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(15):1241-1242. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600410063019

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To the Editor:  —A gradually increasing misconception of the art of anesthesia has led to a rather unique condition of affairs.We find that nurses and other lay persons may, by the simple acquisition of a few rules, become anesthetists. Large institutions have adopted the nurse anesthetist on grounds of economy, expediency and even sentimentality. It is argued that these workers can be employed at little expense, that the supply meets the demand, and that the feminine element eliminates fear and works for smoothness during the induction of the anesthesia.These institutions may employ lay persons to take their roentgenograms and to make urinary, blood or sputum examinations, but does any one dream of speaking of these workers as the hospital roentgenologist or the attending pathologist? They are employed as technicians. The nurse who administers an anesthetic is an anesthetic technician. She can never be more without a medical degree,

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