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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Anesthesia Technology

Majors Overview January 4, 2014

Anesthetic technicians administer anesthesia to patients, working with anesthesiologists and others members of a surgical team. Aside from certificate programs that are commonly offered, a few schools offer A.A.S. degree programs in Anesthesia Technology.

A.A.S. Programs in Anesthesia Technology

Students enrolled in A.A.S. Degree Programs, in Anesthesia Technology, are educated and trained in the performance of supporting roles on surgical teams. Students can expect to become adept at evaluating the physical condition of patients, helping prepare patients for surgery, transporting patients, and maintaining and monitoring equipment. Coursework is required to be augmented by students through completion of a clinical internship. It typically takes about two years to complete an associate’s degree.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma, in addition to completing courses in English, chemistry, biology, physiology and anatomy.

Coursework

Coursework typically includes general studies courses in social sciences, mathematics and communications, in addition to subject areas such as:

•Instruments for anesthesia
•Clinical procedures
•Medical terminology
•Anesthesia basics
•Anesthesia and pharmacology

Job and Wage Outlook

Graduates with an A.A.S. degree in anesthesia technology can seek employment as anesthesia technicians, in surgical centers and hospitals. A job growth of 29% has been predicted for surgical technicians (an umbrella term that covers anesthesia technicians) during the period from 2010 to 2020; (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The optimistic projection is based on an expected increase in need for surgical procedures to serve an aging population. In 2012, anesthesia technicians with work experience of one to four years earned an average annual wage of $90,930.

Continuing Education Choices

Professional certification for anesthesia technicians is offered by the Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians. In order to qualify as anesthesiologists, anesthesia technicians would have to earn a bachelor’s degree, followed by a medical school degree, while completing an internship and residency, as well. However, those who aspire to become nurse anesthetists would only need to complete a bachelor’s degree program in nursing followed by a master’s degree program in nurse anesthesia.

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