How Can I Become an Anesthesiology Technologist?

Research what it takes to become an anesthesiology technologist. Learn about the education and certification requirements, job growth and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Anesthesia Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Anesthesiology Technologist?

An anesthesiology technologist is a surgical technologist who specializes in anesthesiology administration. Before surgeries, they make sure that all anesthesia-related equipment is available and in working condition. During a surgery or procedure, they assist surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals by operating anesthesia equipment, handing them necessary supplies and making sure needles remain sterile. Afterward, they dispose of contaminated equipment and sterilize anesthesia equipment so that it is ready for use in future operations.

The following table provides information for this career:

Education Required Postsecondary certificate (minimum)
Training Required Experience as an anesthesiology technician
Key Responsibilities Prepare, maintain & control anesthesia equipment; assist the anesthesiologist
Certification Technician & technologist certifications from the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) (recommended)
Job Growth (2014-24) 15%* (for surgical technologists)
Average Salary (2015) $45,940* (for surgical technologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would I Do as an Anesthesiology Technologist?

As an anesthesiology technologist, you'd work with an anesthesiologist as part of a surgical team, preparing, maintaining and controlling the equipment used to administer anesthesia to patients. You'd clean anesthesia equipment and assist an anesthesiologist in the administration of topical, intravenous and other anesthetics.

What Education Do I Need?

To become an anesthesiology technologist, you'll first need to become an anesthesiology technician. The minimum requirement to begin work as a technician is a high school education, but there are other educational options that can improve your job outlook. The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) offers both technician and technologist certifications (www.asatt.org). Eligibility requirements to become a certified anesthesia technician (Cer.A.T.) include either two years of work experience as an anesthesia technician or graduation from an ASATT-approved associate's degree or certificate program.

Anesthesia technology degree programs consist of both traditional coursework and clinical training. Some of the courses you could take are anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, medical terminology and instrumentation. During the clinical phase of the program you'd be placed at a hospital where you would work under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

Do I Need to Be Certified?

Although certification isn't a requirement for employment in the U.S., the American Society of Anesthesiologists (www.asahq.org) notes that some employers prefer to hire candidates who hold certification, while others require that candidates pursue certification within the first years of employment. To obtain the Certified Anesthesia Technologist (Cer.A.T.T.) designation through the ASATT, you'll need to take both the Cer.A.T.T. and Cer.A.T. examinations. Once you obtain certification, you'll need to complete 30 continuing education contact hours every two years to maintain certification.

What Is My Job Outlook?

Most anesthesiology technologists work in a hospital setting as part of an anesthesia care team. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that, as the population continues to age, the number of surgical procedures will increase, resulting in the need for more trained anesthesia personnel (www.bls.gov). The BLS reports that jobs for surgical technologists in general are expected to grow 15% between 2014 and 2024.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are looking for a job in the healthcare field, you could also consider becoming a medical assistant. These workers divide their time between clerical tasks in medical offices and direct patient care, such as assisting physicians with examinations. For this job, you need to complete a postsecondary certificate program. Another option is a job as a licensed practical or vocational nurse (LPN/LVN), where you would work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses (RNs) to monitor vital signs, keep health records and assist with basic procedures like wound dressing and catheter insertion. For this job, it is necessary to complete an accredited training program and pass a licensure exam.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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