Becoming an Anesthesiologist Assistant

Anesthesiologist assistants work under the direction of licensed Anesthesiologists, who are specialized physicians. They are certified by American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and adhere to all guidelines without any exception. The Anesthesiologist Assistants handle the equipments, monitor patients’ health conditions and provide adequate anesthesia care. They stay with patients before and after anesthesia to ensure proper quality and continuity.

They are trained to help the surgeons and other physicians in life-saving measures. Without their help, the surgeries cannot be completed. These professionals are high in demand, as skilled personnel are needed to deliver anesthesia.

Education Requirement:

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree with a focus in the sciences such as chemistry and biology is needed for aspiring Anesthesiologist Assistants. The degree program may take 4 years to complete.
  2. Master’s Degree: A post-baccalaureate degree in assisting anesthesiology can be attained through a Master of Health Science degree. In addition, Certification through National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) is also helpful for aspiring Anesthesiologist Assistants.

Apart from these normal academic and certification programs, the Anesthesiologist Assistants are required to work under licensed Anesthesiologists. They get trained in surgery related process, drug administration, reviewing patients’ medical history, trauma care, transplant surgery, neurosurgery etc.

Key challenges:

  • Reviewing health history of the patients and consulting with their family members
  • Performing physical tests to identify the affects of anesthesia drug administration
  • Adjusting anesthesia levels
  • Performing duties at ICUs and pain clinics
  • Assisting in electroencephalographic spectral analysis.

Salary & Job Outlook: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that job growth for all physician assistants (including anesthesiologist assistants) will be 38% during the period of 2012-2022. The median pay for Anesthesiologist Assistant is $110,000 – $120,000. These professionals get employment at medical centers, trauma centers, clinical laboratories and research labs.