How to Be an Anesthesia Tech

As an anesthesia technician, you will work with anesthesiologists to provide care for patients before, during, and after surgery.

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What is an Anesthesia Tech?

An anesthesia tech is a professional who assists anesthesiologists in the operating room. Anesthesia techs are responsible for a variety of tasks, including setting up and maintaining equipment, monitoring patients’ vital signs, and providing patient care before and after surgery.

Duties of an Anesthesia Tech

Anesthesia technicians, also called anesthesiology technicians or anesthesia technologists, assist licensed anesthesiologists in the operating room. The work of an anesthesia tech is vital to the safety of patients who are undergoing surgery or other medical procedures.

Anesthesia technicians prepare and maintain anesthesia equipment, monitor patients during procedures, and provide support to the anesthesiologist. They also may administer local anesthesia, lead patient education classes, and keep surgical operating rooms clean and organized.

Education requirements for anesthesia technicians vary by employer, but most positions require at least a certificate from an accredited program. Some hospitals and surgery centers offer on-the-job training for candidates with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Most states regulate the practice of anesthesia technicians, and some states require certification from the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). Certification is not required in all states, but it may be preferred by some employers.

Anesthesia Tech Salary

Anesthesia techs are in high demand and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs will grow by 19% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. With a median salary of $58,710 per year in 2017, Anesthesia techs are well compensated for their skills.

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How to Become an Anesthesia Tech

Anesthesia techs work in the medical field assisting anesthesiologists before, during, and after surgery. They are responsible for preparing operating rooms, setting up equipment, and monitoring patients’ vital signs. If you’re interested in becoming an anesthesia tech, there are a few things you need to know. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about how to become an anesthesia tech.

Education and Training

Anesthesia technicians typically complete a one-year certificate or associate degree program in anesthesia technology. Some programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

As of July 2018, there were 133 CAAHEP-accredited educational programs for anesthesia technicians in the United States. Programs typically include coursework in anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, pharmacology, and math. Many programs include a clinical component in which students gain hands-on experience working with patients under the supervision of licensed anesthesia providers.

Some states regulate the practice of anesthesia technicians and may require certification or licensure. Specific requirements vary by state, but commonly include passing an exam and completing a approved education program. The National Board of Certification & Recertification for Anesthesia Technologists (NBCRNA) offers the Certified Anesthesia Technician (CAT) credential. Candidates must have completed an accredited education program and pass an exam to earn the credential.

Certification

Anesthesia technology is a growing field with good job prospects. Anesthesia technicians work closely with anesthesiologists to prepare and maintain anesthesia equipment and to monitor patients during surgery.

Most states regulate the practice of anesthesia technicians, and most employers prefer to hire certified candidates. Certification is available from several organizations, including the American Association of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (AATAT) and the National Board of Certification in Anesthesia Technology (NBCAT).

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Candidates for certification must have graduated from an accredited anesthesia technology program and must pass a written exam. Those who have been working in the field for at least two years may be eligible for certification by experience.

Continuing education is required to maintain certification, and many certifying organizations offer courses and other resources to help certified technicians stay up-to-date on the latest developments in anesthesia technology.

Anesthesia Tech Job Outlook

Anesthesia techs work under the supervision of an anesthesiologist to help prepare patients for surgery and monitor them during procedures. With the aging population and the continued demand for surgical procedures, the job outlook for anesthesia techs is very good.

Job Opportunities

The anesthesia tech job outlook is positive, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting the occupation to grow by 16 percent through 2026. Anesthesiology is a rapidly growing field, due in part to an aging population that will need more medical care. As more baby boomers reach retirement age and begin to experience health problems, the demand for anesthesiology services will increase.

In addition, advances in medical technology have made it possible to treat more complex medical conditions that require anesthesia. As a result, there will be a need for more trained anesthesia techs to assist with these procedures.

Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for anesthesia techs is expected to be much faster than average, at 22 percent between 2016 and 2026. This is due in large part to the aging baby boomer population, who will require more medical procedures as they age. The BLS also reports that the median annual salary for an anesthesia tech was $58,560 in May 2017.

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