Anesthesiologist Assistant Careers Guide

The number of people employed as Anesthesiologist Assistants has increased dramatically over the last 15 years – rising from just 54,000 in 2000 to over 94,000 in 2015. And this trend looks set to continue. So if you are considering a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant (also known as an Anesthesia Technician or Anesthesia Tech) then prospects for employment and job security are favorable.

Partnership For Healthcare are here to help you take the all important first steps towards starting your new career as an Anesthesia Technician. We specialize in helping individuals who are interested in a new entry level healthcare career by matching them up with the best schools in their area, acccording to their preferences.

Explore schools and training for Anesthesiology Assistants

The Role Of The Anesthesiologist Assistant

Anesthesiologists are physicians who choose to specialize in providing anesthesia during a wide range of different medical procedures. They play a vitally important role, and they don’t do it alone. They have professional help in the form of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs). Assistants help anesthesiologists with all aspects of their work, including monitoring patients, operating equipment, and maintaining the highest standards of anesthesia care.

Anesthesiologist assistants are often in constant contact with patients throughout the period of anesthesia to monitor their safety and provide continuous care throughout their procedures. AAs are capable of initiating and assisting in several different life-saving procedures like CPR and hospital life support.

Some of the other tasks commonly handled by AAs include:

* Taking medical histories from patients
* Physical examinations to find potential issues that can affect anesthesia
* Prepare patients for monitoring according to doctor’s orders – non-invasive and invasive techniques.
* Assist in complex pre-surgical procedures such as electroencephalographic spectral analysis, echocardiography, and pulmonary artery catheterization).
* Administer diagnostic and laboratory tests to patients (e.g. taking blood)
* Operate and calibrate monitors and equipment for anesthesia delivery
* Induce, monitor, and change anesthesia levels
* Monitor patients during postoperative recovery
* Assist in life support procedures such as airway management
* Work in pain clinics and intensive care units
* Handle administrative, research, and educational functions

Where And How Do Anesthesiologist Assistants Work?

AAs are mainly employed in hospitals or dedicated surgical centers. They are directly supervised by licensed anesthesiologists. Some AAs work on-call, evening, and swing shifts, but the majority of professional assistants work a conventional weekly schedule.

Even though assisting anesthesiologists has been recognized as a distinct medical profession for nearly 50 years, there are still some states which do not license or recognize AAs. Individuals who are considering a career as an AA should learn more about their own state’s regulations regarding the profession.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the key qualities required in for Anesthesiology Assistants include:

* Organizational skills
* Ability to handle supervision
* Ability to work professionally under pressure
* Attention to detail
* Manual dexterity
* Critical thinking