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Anesthesiology Services at Avera Sacred Heart

Avera Sacred Heart Hospital is the only facility in the Yankton region with doctors specializing in anesthesia on staff.  Together, with seven certified nurse anesthestists (CRNA's), they provide full anesthesia services to our patients.

Most people think of their anesthesia provider only as the "person behind the mask" who helps them sleep through surgery without pain and who wakes them up when surgery is over. But is your anesthesia provider a doctor, or a CRNA or both?  What's the difference and benefits?

Medical Training: What's the difference?

Anesthesiologists - Doctors of medicine who complete four years of undergraduate education, four years of medical school and then learn the medical specialty of anesthesiology during an additional four years of post-medical school training. 

CRNA's - Nurse specialists who complete a four-year registered nursing education, have at least one year of experience in an acute care setting and graduate with a master's degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program.

Avera Sacred Heart has three board-certified doctors of anesthesiology on staff as well as seven nurse anesthetists - CRNA's.

Collaborative anesthesia care: Only at Avera Sacred Heart

  • Prior to surgery at the Avera Same Day Surgery Center, an anesthesiologist will evaluate your medical condition and formulate an anesthetic plan to protect and regulate your their critical life functions. 
  • During surgery, CRNA's in collaboration with the anesthesiologist, will administer anesthetic medications, monitor body functions and carry out your anesthesia plan. 
  • In case a medical problem arises or a question about your anesthesia during surgery or the recovery period, the anesthesiologist is available for an immediate consultation.

Only Avera Sacred Heart can provide this high level of patient safety for surgery patients