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Anesthesiology Assistant Educational Programs

Majors Overview November 1, 2012

An anesthesiology assistant performs a supporting role to an anesthesiologist by administering anesthesia to patients. Apart from the administration of anesthetic drugs and monitoring of patients, an anesthesiology assistant’s responsibilities include accessing records of a patient’s medical history and providing follow-up assistance after an operation. There are few schools that offer courses for aspiring anesthesiology assistants and those that do only offer graduate courses.

Post-Graduate Degree for Anesthesiology Assistants

In 2009, the United States had a limited number of recognized training programs authorized to validate their trainees as anesthesiologist assistants. In fact, there were five such programs. A person aspiring to become an anesthesiologist or an anesthesiology assistant can aim for the following degrees: Master of Health Sciences, Master of Science or Master of Medical Science. These training programs typically take twenty-four to twenty-eight months, and successful completion qualifies a student to be professionally certified by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

What Prior Education is Require

Previous educational requirements can vary according to the course an aspiring anesthesiology assistant wants to do.  In addition, all courses require a bachelor degree as a requirement that accompanied by coursework in a specific direction. A graduate degree in math courses, such as calculus or statistics, English, physiology and anatomy, physics, or organic chemistry and biology would permit a potential anesthesiology assistant to apply for admission to a Master degree program. Usually, the students are require to equip themselves with experience in a science lab course.

Coursework in an Anesthesiology Assisting Program

Clinical practice and basic science are among the subjects taught in an anesthesiology assistant course alongside clinical rotations, whereby students gain hands-on training in anesthesiology. During the first year, students are involved in clinical research and classroom coursework, during the second year, clinical rotations make their appearance. The following are likely to appear in the coursework:

  • Principles of anesthesia
  • Anesthesia methods
  • Instrumentation & monitoring
  • Air passage management
  • Pharmacology
  • Anesthesia-related physiology

Job and Wage Prospects

The American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants has found only eighteen states in the United States that offers employment to anesthesiology assistants. There are encouraging reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that has revealed on its website, between 2008 and 2018 a thirty-nine percent increase in demand for assistants to physicians including anesthesiologists was expected to emerge in relation with growing demand for healthcare.

In 2005, Florida Medical Business reveals new legislation that passed in Florida where licensed anesthesiology assistants would be allowed to practice. Anesthesiology assistants beginning their career is likely to be compensated between $95,000 and $120,000 per annum (source: a 2006 report by American Medical Association.

Certification and Continual Education

The National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) grants certification to those seeking to become professional anesthesiologist assistants provided they have completed an accredited anesthesiologist assistant program and passed an examination offered by the NCCAA.  Maintenance of certification calls for completion of forty hours of continuing education, biannually, by the anesthesiologist assistants concerned.

Anesthesiologist Assistant Statistics

anesthesiologist assistant statistics

Top Schools For Anesthesiologist Assistant Programs

School Name Tuition Size Degrees Granted Degrees Granted By Type
Barry University
Miami, FL
$26,400 4,978 66 Master’s (66)
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
$38,036 7,441 40 Master’s (40)
Sanford-Brown – Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
$24,223 919 35 Associate (35)
South University – Savannah
Savannah, GA
$15,910 8,789 21 Master’s (21)
Renton Technical College
Renton,WA
$5,303 2,671 16 Certificate (12), Associate (4)
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH
$36,238 4,228 14 Master’s (14)
Sanford-Brown Institute – Iselin
Iselin, NJ
Unknown 1,300 14 Certificate (14)
Sanford-Brown College – Houston
Houston, TX
$25,260 1,424 12 Associate (12)
Missouri – Kansas City
KansasCity, MO
$21,197 9,381 4 Master’s (4)
Milwaukee Area Technical College
Milwaukee, WI
$5,497 17,473 2 Associate (2)

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  • A private, co-ed college founded in 1821 and located in downtown Washington, D.C.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 13:1, and 55.1% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has distinguished alumni including Senator Harry Reid, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and actress Courtney Cox.
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