What Does an Anesthesia Technician Do?

Anesthesia technicians typically assist anesthesiologists with several tasks both inside and outside the operating room. These may include setting up equipment, providing supplies, and ensuring careful patient care. Schools offering Anesthesia Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) defined the standard role of an anesthesia technician as assisting anesthesiologists before and during operations (www.asatt.org). According to the ASATT, your main duty as an anesthesia technician will be to prepare and maintain anesthesia equipment. However, your responsibilities can vary from state to state and from one hospital or clinic to another. If you're a certified anesthesia technician, you'll take on additional duties, such as operating more complex hospital equipment.

Important Facts About Anesthesia Technicians

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree
Key Skills Reading comprehension, critical thinking, situational awareness, problem solving, close listening, clear spoken and written communication, customer focused, time management
Work Environment Physicians offices; general medical and surgical hospitals; outpatient care centers; colleges, universities, and professional schools; specialty hospitals
Similar Occupations Physician assistant; biomedical equipment technician (BMT); certified veterinary technician (CVT); chief nurse anesthetist (CRNA); dental hygienist; oral surgery assistant

Job Description

As an anesthesia technician, you'll clean, calibrate, and troubleshoot all of an anesthesiologist's tools. You must be proficient with the operation and maintenance of several pieces of equipment, including anesthesia delivery systems, ancillary devices, and monitors. You must also be able to use many types of mechanical and electronic testing devices to make sure that all of the equipment is functioning properly.

Additional Responsibilities

In addition to equipment maintenance and assistance in the operating room, the ASATT mentioned that you might also be required to keep an inventory of all the supplies used by the anesthesiologist. You'll be responsible for purchasing equipment and supplies from vendors when you find your inventory is running low. You also might need to keep detailed and organized records of equipment maintenance needs and any machinery inspections that must be performed on a regular basis.

Duties with Certification

If you're granted certification as a Certified Anesthesia Technician by the ASATT, you'll probably have more responsibilities in assisting licensed anesthesiologists during operations. You'll need to be familiar with all safety procedures and policies, and you may even have to train new technicians. You'll also take a more active role in the administration of patient evaluations and records.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to PayScale.com, the majority of anesthesia technicians earn between $24,302 and $51,073 a year, as of September 2015. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) does not provide information specific to the field of anesthesia technicians, the BLS did project that the employment of physician's assistants - a related career - will likely grow by about 38% between 2012 and 2022.

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