Anesthesiologist Assistant

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September 12, 2012

Anesthesiologist Assistant Tips!

Anesthesiologist Assistant Tips and More!

Do you want to become an anesthesiologist assistant? All you need is a Bachelor’s degree and the required prerequisites! Even if you have a business degree you can apply to an AA program, but you must complete the prerequisites which include physics, math, physiology, anatomy, chemistry and biology.  The majority of aa students major in biology, sciences, mathematics and even nursing.

Anesthesiologist assistants have almost identical job responsibilities to nurse anesthetists but nurse anesthetists are governed by the state board of nursing and the anesthesiologist assistant by the state board of medicine.

The scope of work of an anesthesiologist assistant varies with the rules of the state board of medicine, the anesthesiologist in charge and other applicable laws, according to the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

In each state, the state board of medicine determines the rules that all anesthesiologist assistants must follow. The anesthesiologist assistant must also follow the anesthesiologists protocols while working in the anesthesia care team.




How to Become An Anesthesiologist Assistant

How to Become An Anesthesiologist Assistant

An anesthesiologist assistant assists anesthesiologists in all areas of anesthesia, from the initial patient assessment, to intubating and monitoring during surgery to recovering the patient in the post-operative suite. Anesthesiologist assistants responsibilities include but is not limited to performing CPR/ACLS, assisting in anesthetic planning, ordering appropriate pre-operative evaluations and pre-medications, operating ASA Standard Monitors, inserting arterial and venous catheters, interpreting data from central venous, pulmonary artery and intracranial catheters.


Anesthesiologist Assistant Program Guide:

  1. The candidate must obtain a bachelor’s degree (preferably in the sciences) and have completed the required prerequisites. These graduate school prerequisites commonly include physics, math, physiology, anatomy, chemistry and biology.
  2. The Anesthesiologist Assistant candidate must take Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Records Examination (GRE). After taking one of these tests the applicant can apply to a school that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).
  3. The candidate must graduate from an anesthesiologist assistant program that is accredited by the CAAHEP. The typical length of these anesthesiologist assistant programs take anywhere from 24 to 28 months.
  4. The Anesthesiologist Assistant candidate must complete the licensing requirements of their state medical board. Post graduation, the anesthesiologist assistant candidate must schedule and take the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) exam.
  5. In order to keep your certification in good standing you must complete insure the NCCAA obtains your 40 hours of continuing education every two years. In the sixth year of practice the anesthesiologist assistant must take the Continued Demonstration of Qualifications (CDQ) exam.




September 10, 2012

Anesthesiologist Assistant Responsibilities

An anesthesiologist assistant assists the anesthesiologist by administering anesthesia. The Anesthesiologist Assistants responsibilities include gathering initial assessment information, monitoring patient during surgery and monitoring patients in post operative recovery. The starting salary for graduates as of 2012 was $98,000 to $125,000.  Anesthesiologist Assistants, once seasoned, can earn $165,000 to $185,000.  If interested in becoming an anesthesiologist assistant, it requires the individual to earn a bachelor’s degree (preferably in the Sciences) then being accepted into a masters degree program that lasts from 24 to 28 months, according to

Anesthesiologist Assistant Surgical Responsibilities

  •         An anesthesiologist assistant troubleshoots equipment, gathers patient initial assessment information, monitors patient during surgery and in post operative recovery, according to

Anesthesiologist Assistant Administration of Medications and Monitoring

  •         Under the supervision of an anesthesiologist, an anesthesiologist assistant administers the appropriate sedatives and paralytics exclusively prepared for each individual patient, according to The anesthesiologist assistant also monitors the patient’s complete body system functions during surgery and caters to all patient needs while anesthetized.

Anesthesiologist Assistant Assistance

  •         An anesthesiologist assistant in the Anesthesia Care Team (ACT) setting, is responsible for monitoring the patient’s complete body systems, which includes but is not limited to airway management, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, level of consciousness and insuring all advanced life support techniques are ready in case of an emergency, according to


  •         Anesthesiologist assistants are trained to perform the crucial initial assessment, to closely monitor their patients during and then after surgery in the post-op suite.  The anesthesiologist assistant is responsible for three critical phases: Pre-operative phase, In-surgery phase and the Post-operative phase.



Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary

Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary

  •     New Anesthesiologist Assistant Graduates

After graduating from an Anesthesiologist Assistant program, expect to receive about $118,000 per year. Keep in mind that different parts of the country pay slightly different hourly rates.


  •     Salary Increases For Anesthesiologist Assistants

After the first year or two on the job, an anesthesiologist assistant should expect a significant raise of anywhere between 5 and 15 percent.
After being employed two years and proving you have mastered your skills as an Anesthesiologist Assistant, the pay raise has been seen anywhere from 5 to percent.


  •     Early Anesthesiologist Assistant Career

According to, an anesthesiologist assistant (AA) should expect to make between $95,000 and $135,000 per year.


  •     Comparing Anesthesiologist Assistant to CRNAs

According to Nova Southeastern University, there is no difference between the salary of an anesthesiologist assistant (AA) and that of a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA).


  •     Experienced Anesthesiologist Assistant Professionals

The American Medical Association states that, an anesthesiologist assistant with experience has the potential to earn between $165,000 and $185,000 per year.

September 6, 2012

General Pointers About Locums Work For Anesthesiologist Assistants!

General Pointers About Locums Work from a CRNA Perspective but which also applies to Anesthesiologist Assistants

#1. Since the Anesthesiologist Assistants are moving for licensure in a number of states, they need to stick into their practice act an INTERSTATE AA PRACTICE COMPACT. That would make your Anesthesiologist Assistants license like a drivers license. You could work in any of the Compact states with the license of your home state. You would still have to obey the laws of the state you are working in, but it would save you a TON of money in licenses and you would not have to jump thru the hoops of every state to get “their” license. That is a class “A” headache.

#2. Insurance is going to be a big concern. Make sure you know who is paying it and what kind it is.  A “claims occurred” policy is 1000 times better than a “claims filed.” (If you are interest in the difference, just ask and I can go into that into more detail.) I buy a policy from my agency on a “per day worked” basis and it covers me for anything I did (or failed to do) for that one day. Obviously it is a “claims occurred” policy. If the hospital or group that is hiring you is going to add you to their policy, make sure the policy clearly states locums are covered or that you are a named insured. However, even with that, it probably is a “claims filed” type policy and something you did or did not do can come back to haunt you years later. If you want your “own” policy, keep in mind some insurance agencies require you to have one for each state you work in. That can add up to a LOT of money very quickly. Bottom line, before you do your FIRST locums, know exactly were you stand on insurance.

#3. Hourly pay is the main source of your income. However, you should also get travel expenses, per diem and housing. Travel should be taxi from your house to the airport, the air ticket, and perhaps a rental car for your stay at the locums facility. If you drive, the going rate is around 40 cents a mile. If you are going to drive a great distance, watch out as they may try to short you on the mileage or “pay a set rate.” Per diem is around $30 per day. Lodging can be done a number of ways. They can put you up in a hotel and pay the hotel directly or you can check in and put it on your credit card and then they pay you. I prefer the first method of the two. However, if you have a motor home or travel trailer, you can do something novel. They pay you $50 a day for housing. You stay in an RV park. If you use the RV only for locums, it can be a major tax write off as a business expense. You can write off upkeep, propane and electric, interest and take a pretty good depreciation also.

#4. As the “visitor,” expect to do things their way and not yours. If they are still using morphine and pentothal, you have to adapt. A very quick way to “upset them” is to make demands for stuff that you like that they do not use. BUT…and this is the big one….do not compromise patient safety. If it is a patient safety issue or a standard of care issue, you need to CLEARLY state your position. Do not think that “protesting and documenting” you are safe. If you know there is a safety violation and object, then go on to do it anyway, you are just as liable as they.

((If you are using the insurance company of the agency, you can use that as support for you. THEY will not want you to do cases without the proper equipment either.))

#5. Lastly, locums people are often the vanguard. A hospital who never before used an Anesthesiologist Assistant may hire you to see how it works, as an experiment before they hire Anesthesiologist Assistants permanently. You may be the first Anesthesiologist Assistant they ever met. If you come in and are a jerk, or a pain in the butt, or “nuts” or just not capable of handling the job, that will not only reflect negatively upon you but your whole Anesthesiologist Assistant profession. Little things like showing up in shorts and a T-shirt, strange tatoos, nose and tongue piercings and the like are not going to impress them and may turn them off. If you are going to do locums, you need to be on the ball and at the top of your game.

September 5, 2012

What is the difference between Anesthesiologist Assistants and Nurse Anesthetists?

The difference between an Anesthesiologist Assistant and Nurse Anesthetists is primarily their scope of practice. When it comes to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetist (AANA) vs. the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) there is politics in motion. Not all CRNAs are Anti-Anesthesiologist Assistants but the vast majority of CRNAs are against Anesthesiologist Assistants being licensed and working in all 50 states (the nurses just don’t want the competition).

Anesthesiologist Assistants work under the direction (supervision and/or medical direction) of a licensed Anesthesiologist in the Anesthesia Care Team. Anesthesiologist Assistants in the U.S. are either licensed or work under delegatory authority at hospitals, such as an academic teaching institution, private practice setting institution, or outpatient service day surgery centers in the Anesthesia Care Team (ACT). 100% of Anesthesiologist Assistants work in the ACT model.

CRNAs may work under the medical direction (and/or supervision) of an Anesthesiologist M.D. or D.O. part of the Anesthesia Care Team, or they may work under the supervision of a surgeon, dentist or independently licensed practitioner legally authorized to deliver anesthesia services delineated in the rules and regulation written in accordance with various state laws. 80% of CRNAS work in the ACT in the same manner as Anesthesiologist Assistants and the other 20% of CRNAs work out of the ACT independently mostly in rural areas of the U.S.

HOWEVER, one-third of all practicing nurse anesthetist have not earn an undergraduate degree. All Anesthesiologist Assistants must have obtained an undergraduate degree with pre-med core curriculum courses which is very “rigorous” and must take either the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination Test).

Hospital that have both Anesthesiologist Assistants and CRNAs employed at their institution in the Anesthesia Care Team (ACT), their jobs are identical and both are used interchangeably doing the same exact job. Anesthesiologist Assistants and CRNAs in the ACT stay in the O.R. (suite) with their patients from the beginning of the case to the end of the case anywhere from 30mintues to 8 hours or more depending on the type of surgery that is being performed.

Anesthesiologist Assistants and CRNAs jobs are both amazing and intriguing professions in the Anesthesia Care Team. Nurses (R.N.s) who meet the criteria and prerequisites can also be admitted to an Anesthesiologist Assistant program (anesthetist), there are several nurses who are Anesthesiologist Assistants who chose to take the Anesthesiologist Assistant route vs. CRNA route for different or personal reasons.

FACT: there is a nurse who is an Anesthesiologist Assistant and her title reads R.N., M.M.Sc., A.A.-C., she has thirteen (13) years experience as an Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant – Anesthetist and twenty-three (23) years experience as Registered Nurse.

She is licensed as an R.N.,A.A.-C. (Anesthesiologist Assistant).

*AA School attended – Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

*B.S. Nursing (Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing).

*M.M.Sc. Anesthesiology (Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiology).

In closing, both Anesthesiologist Assistants and CRNAs are highly respected as anesthetists in the Allied Health/Nursing as mid-level providers in or out of the Anesthesia Care Team (ACT).

FACT: Anesthesiologist Assistants can train and teach SRNA (student nurse anesthetist) = CRNAs. Anesthesiologist Assistants also train and teach their own AA-S/RN,AA-S (student anesthetist/student nurse anesthetist) = AA-C/RN,AA-C.

September 4, 2012

The BEST Anesthesiologist Assistant Schools In The Country

To become an elite level anesthesiologist assistant, it is important to graduate from the best school possible! Having been trained at one of the leading Anesthesiologist Assistant programs, this will insure landing a dream job at a leading medical facilities of your choice. Below you will find tips for the future Anesthesiologist Assistant student:

  • » There are currently seven schools accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). You must graduate from one of these accredited schools.
  • » The seven accredited schools are Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia ~ Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio ~ Case Western Reserve University in Houston, Texas ~ South University in Savannah, Georgia ~ University of Missouri Kansas City ~ Nova SouthEastern University in Fort-Lauderdale-Davie, Florida ~ Nova SouthEastern University Tampa Student  Educational Center adhere to the guidelines as prescribed by the CAAHEP in setting the curriculum for prospective anesthesiologist assistants. To be eligible for and to be considered for admission into one of these seven Anesthesiologist Assistant schools, it requires that the student pass the entrance exam in form of a GRE or an MCAT (each Anesthesiologist Assistant school has a preference). Aside from the entrance exam and due to this profession being a masters degree,  each potential candidate must have a bachelor’s degree with required prerequisites in english, science and math.
  • » The typical Anesthesiologist Assistant program covers 24 and 28 continuous months, together with curriculum hours up to 160 hours with clinical hours totaling up to 2,700 hours.
  • » As per the CAAHEP, students are required to study topics pertaining to anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology, with special emphasis on cardiovascular, renal, nervous, respiratory, and neuromuscular systems. Apart from these, the program involves study of life support systems, and principles related to medical instrumentation. Training in the functionality, as well as calibration of equipments in associated clinical laboratories is included in the program. Understanding the concepts of clinical decision making also remains a prominent part of the program undertaken in schools.
  • » After completing the Anesthesiologist Assistant graduate program, prospective candidates can begin internships in their prospective areas of preference.
  • » After passing the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA), Anesthesiologist Assistants are eligible to work in medical or hospital facilities of their liking. Currently there are 18 states, which allow Anesthesiologist Assistants to practice.

August 14, 2012

Anesthesiologist Assistants Qualifications and Responsibilities

Filed under: General AA Information — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:41 pm


The text  below is only to be used as a suggested guideline for the Anesthesiologist Assistant (by University of Texas)  – Read Texas AA Press Release


1. Suggested Qualifications of an Anesthesiologist Assistant also known as (Anesthesia Assistant). The delegating physician should require that the Anesthesiologist Assistant (Anesthesia Assistant) provide evidence, satisfactory to the physician, of his/her qualifications, including but not limited to the following:


A. Successful completion of a training program accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), its predecessor agency (CAHEA), or successor agencies.


B. Successful completion of 60 semester hours of college courses, other than the above referenced training program, which courses would be acceptable, at the time of completion, for credit on a bachelor of arts degree or a bachelor of science degree.


C. Successful passage within three (3) attempts of the National Certifying Examination for Anesthesiologist Assistants as administered by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) or its successor agencies.


D. Successful and current completion of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support program as administered by the American Heart Association or its successor organizations.


E. Successful completion of NCCAA (or its successor agencies) CDQ and CME activities as required to maintain NCCAA certification.


F. Submission of a standard evaluation form, used for all Anesthesiologist Assistants, indicating training, practice experience, character references, delegating physicians, etc.


G. Submissions of evaluations from all prior employment as an Anesthesiologist Assistant and from all training programs.


H.  Any other information which is deemed necessary to evaluate the individual.


2. Functions and Duties of an Anesthesiologist Assistant/Anesthesia Assistant:


A. Individuals who meet the definition of an Anesthesiologist Assistant under Section (1) above may engage in the following functions and duties delegated to them by properly qualified supervising anesthesiologists.


B. There shall be at all times a direct, continual and close supervisory relationship between the Anesthesia Assistant and the supervising anesthesiologist. The supervising anesthesiologist shall, at all times, be responsible for the activities of the Anesthesiologist Assistant.


C. A written job description, signed by the Anesthesiologist Assistant and supervising anesthesiologist(s) must exist which delineates the medical tasks and services, which the Anesthesia Assistant may provide. Within the framework of the written job description, the Anesthesia Assistant may engage in the following functions and duties:


1. The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall provide delegated medical services within the education, training, and experience of the Anesthesia Assistant. These services may include perioperative patient evaluations as well as delegated teaching and research functions.


2. The Anesthesiologist Assistant may administer anesthesia under the direct supervision of a qualified anesthesiologist.


3. The Anesthesiologist Assistant/Anesthesia Assistant performs initial CPR/ACLS in life threatening situations as directed by a physician or protocol until the supervising anesthesiologist arrives.


4. The Anesthesia Assistant initiates multi-parameter monitoring prior toanesthesia or in other acute care settings.  Modalities include, but are not limited to, ASA Standard Monitor arterial and venous catheters. The Anesthesia Assistant may manipulate and interpret data from central venous, pulmonary artery and intracranial catheters and other monitors devices that are indicated. The Anesthesiologist Assistant administers the prescribed anesthetic with particular attention to the cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health of the patient. The Anesthesiologist Assistant may administer drugs commonly used in anesthetic practice by protocol or as directed by the supervising anesthesiologist.


5. The Anesthesiologist Assistant/Anesthesia Assistant may utilize advanced treatment modalities to effect the prescribed anesthetic plan; these may include but are not limited to advanced airway interventions, including intubation of the trachea; starting and adjusting vasoactive infusions, administering vasoactive and anesthetic drugs, administering blood and any other treatment modalities prescribed by the supervising anesthesiologist and within the training and expertise of the Anesthesia Assistant.


6. An Anesthesiologist Assistant is prohibited from performing medical services, procedures, functions or activities, which are not specifically listed in the Anesthesiologist Assistant’s job description.


3. Prohibited Activities and Functions for an Anesthesiologist Assistant/Anesthesia Assistant:


A. Any medical service, procedure, activity or function not specifically enumerated in the written and signed job description is prohibited.


B. Anesthesiologist Assistants/Anesthesia Assistants are prohibited from representing themselves as physicians, anesthesiologists, or physician assistants. Recommended nomenclature is: Anesthesiologist Assistant.


4. Supervisory Requirements for Anesthesiologists:


A. The Anesthesiologist to whom an Anesthesiologist Assistant is responsible must:


1. hold a current, unrestricted license to practice medicine in the State;
2. be engaged full time in the medical specialty of anesthesiology; and
3. be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists in anesthesiology.


B. Supervision of Anesthesiologist Assistants by Non-Anesthesiologist Individuals not meeting the criteria stated in Section 4(A) are prohibited from supervising or delegating tasks to Anesthesiologists Assistants.


C. Patient Choice


1.  Except under emergency circumstances, the supervising anesthesiologist is responsible for informing patients that they will receive anesthesiology care in the team mode, which includes the use of Anesthesiologist Assistants, and that the physician may not be present in the operating room at all times but must be present in the operating suite.


2. If the patient so wishes after having been informed of the use of Anesthesiologist Assistants, the supervising anesthesiologist(s) shall offer a personally administered anesthetic by a physician or referral.


D. Supervisory Ratios


1. Except under emergency circumstances, the supervising anesthesiologist may not concurrently direct more than four anesthesia services or simultaneously supervise more than a combination of four (4) certified registered nurse anesthetists, Anesthesiologist Assistants, or anesthesiology residents.


2. Responsibility for Compliance with Recommendations Anesthesiologist Assistants (Anaesthetic assistant) have no legal standing outside the general provisions of their State’s Medical Practice Act dealing with delegation of duties. As such, the primary responsibility for maintaining the standards set forth in this document will lay with the supervising anesthesiologists and the credentialing committees in the involved facilities. While the Board has no formal mechanism to monitor Anesthesiologist Assistant practice at this time, reports of deviations from these recommendations may be investigated, at the Board’s discretion, as violations of the appropriate sections of the State’s Medical Practice Act. The supervising physicians remain ultimately and completely liable for all acts of the Anesthesiologist Assistants, which may lead to disciplinary action.

ate is not represented above!

Anesthesiologist Assistants: The Answer To The Nursing Shortage?

Filed under: Anesthesiologist Assistant Career — admin @ 7:39 pm

We know it’s coming…

Just as we hold our collective breaths for an impending hurricane, so too, do we dread the worsening, critical nursing shortage.  According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Fact Sheet, October 2007, the impending crisis will only intensify by the year 2020, when our national shortage will surge to over 340,000 nurses. But, there is hope for relief…

Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary Information

Filed under: Anesthesiologist Assistant Career — Tags: , , — admin @ 7:33 pm

If you are looking for a lucrative career in the medical field, without the extensive cost and years of training required to get an M.D., you might consider a career as an anesthesiologist assistant.Full Story

An anesthesiologist assistant is a physician assistant specialist trained to administer anesthesia.  In the United States, an anesthesiologist assistant must complete two and a half years of training in a CAAHEP accredited anesthesiologist assistant program after obtaining a baccalaureate degree and required medical prerequisites.

In the operating room, an anesthesiologist assistant, who is supervised by an anesthesiologist, practices with a great deal of autonomy administering anesthetic drugs and recognizing and treating surgical complications, such as sudden MI and Hypotensive crisis.  The anesthesiologist assistant is trained to assess potential complications prior to surgery by obtaining a thorough physical assessment and history.  After surgery, the anesthesiologist assistant monitors the patient until vital signs are stable and he or she gains consciousness.

The seven Anesthesiologist Assistant programs are located at:

Emory University
in Atlanta,
Georgia : LINK
Case Western
Reserve University
in Cleveland,
Ohio : LINK
 Case Western
Reserve University
in Houston,
Texas : LINK
South University
in Savannah,
Georgia : LINK
University of
Kansas City,
Missouri : LINK
 Nova Southeastern
in Fort-Lauderdale-Davie,
Florida : LINK
 Nova Southeastern
Tampa Student
Educational Center : LINK




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