ANESTHESIA TECHNOLOGISTS ASSIST ANESTHESIOLOGISTS and anesthetists in preparing and using equipment and supplies required for administering anesthesia. They may assist with formulating a plan for patient care,
and in set ting up, calibrating, maintaining and troubleshooting a variety of equipment to monitor patients before and during an operation. The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) describes other duties as providing laboratory services and participating in a system to support and continually improve the quality of anesthesia services.
Anesthesia technologists work in hospitals, clinics, teaching facilities, trauma centers, transplant centers or other medical facilities with operating, emergency or delivery rooms.
Although some entry-level anesthesia technician jobs may only require a high school diploma, a two-year degree in health care is usually required to become a technologist and to achieve certification. ASATT certification as an anesthesia technologist requires a minimum of two years' experience as a technician, graduation from an approved two-year program and completion of a clinical component. Moving into an administrative role requires even further training.
According to a November 2011 Salary.com report, the median annual salary for anesthesia technicians was $34.389. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes anesthesia technologists among surgical technologists and reports that the median annual wage of surgical technologists was $39,920 in May 2010, with the top 10 percent earning more than S57.330.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) notes that, as their responsibilities have increased, assistants in the field are in greater demand for their specialized skills, and ASATT says that job opportunities are anticipated to grow in the area of anesthesiology as the geriatric population increases and health care delivery in America evolves and changes. BLS also projects employment: opportunities in the field to grow from 2008 to 2018 at a very high rate of about 25 percent. Those anesthesia technologists who hold certification are most likely to encounter better employment opportunities.
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For more information about the career of anesthesia technologist and the education and training it requires, here are some places to turn.
The American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians
American Society of Anesthesiologists
National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants
Society for Technology in Anesthesia