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Anesthesiologist Assistant

Who is an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

An anesthesiologist assistant is a healthcare professional who is a part of one of the fastest growing fields in the healthcare segment. Being a member of the anesthesia care team, he/she would provide the much-needed assistance to the anesthesiologists while treating the patients both before and after surgeries. Today, the demand for anesthesiologist assistant is higher because of the need for highly skilled professionals in delivering anesthesia.

Work Settings

In general, as an anesthesiologist assistant, you would find a job in the surgical, as well as the emergency care centers of hospitals. The typical work setting of an anesthesiologist assistant would be the sterilized, cold, and illuminated operation theaters.

Job Description

As an anesthesiologist assistant, you would require to:

  • Take a complete medical history of the patients

  • Perform physical examinations for the purpose of identifying any issues that might affect the anesthesia plan

  • Perform all the required diagnostics, as well as the laboratory tests

  • Prepare the patients who are to be monitored by following the directions of the physician

  • Assist with the preparatory procedures like:

    • Pulmonary artery catheterization

    • Electroencephalographic spectral analysis

    • Echocardiography



  • Pre-test and calibrate the anesthesia delivery systems and/or monitors

  • Induce, sustain, and adjust anesthesia levels

  • Make sure about the continuity of care throughout the post-surgical recovery period

  • Assist with the life support whenever required

  • Perform functions in pain clinics, intensive care units, and so on

  • Perform:

    • Administrative tasks

    • Research

    • Clinical duties




How to Become an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

Educational Requirements:

If you aspire to become an anesthesiologist assistant, you must hold a postgraduate degree in anesthesiologist assisting. This will be offered as a ‘Master of Health Science’. In order to enroll in this degree program, you must have completed bachelor’s degree, as well as premedical courses. The undergraduate majors can be:

  • Nursing

  • Medical technology

  • Respiratory therapy

  • Physics

  • Chemistry

  • Biology


It is to be noted that the candidates preparing for graduate school must take GRE or MCAT examinations. And, you are recommended to apply in an accredited school granting anesthesiologist assistant degree.

Training:

Almost all the schools would require a minimum number of on-job training with an anesthesia care team prior getting approval for the admission into the graduate program.

Certification:

Although certification is not mandatory to practice in a US state, it would certainly enhance your marketability wherever there are job openings. You may begin the certification process with the ‘National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants’, which is overseeing the 6-year certification in the US.

Job Outlook and Opportunities:

The job opportunities for all the physician assistants (including anesthesiologist assistants) are estimated to increase by 38% from the year 2012 to 2022. This rate is much faster than the median for all the occupations.

Pay:

According to the www.salary.com, the median annual pay for an anesthesiologist assistant is found to be $95,586 per year.

Summary:

Average Pay:  $95,586

Education:  Master’s degree

Employment Growth from 2012 to 2022: 38%

On-the-job training: Yes

Work Experience: None