Although Associate of Specialized Technology (A.S.T.) programs are not easily available for anesthesia technologists, Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) programs in anesthesia technology can give training in the field.
A.A.S. Programs in Anesthesia Technology
Students enrolled in associate-level anesthesia technology programs can expect to hone the skills necessary to assisting nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists in surgical suites. They can expect to become adept at preparing supplies, equipment and patients for surgery. Discussion and practice are used to give them an insight about aseptic techniques, surgical procedures and patient care. It typically takes two years of full-time study to complete this degree program that are commonly offered through technical schools and community colleges.
Admission criteria require applicants – who must be 18 or older – to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma. Passage of a criminal background check, completion of a health screening, proof of immunizations and having medical insurance are other requirements for incoming students. Some programs require the passage by students of a physical check-up to prove their capability to work as anesthesia technologists.
Coursework is a combination of classroom lectures and clinical experiences and may include topic areas such as:
•Patient care basics
•Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Job and Wage Outlook
In 2012, over 98,500 individuals were employed as surgical technologists, mainly in hospitals within the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). A 30% job growth rate has been projected for these professionals during the decade from 2012 to 2022. The best employment opportunities are expected to be enjoyed by individuals who hold professional certification or are willing to relocate for employment. In May 2012, surgical technologists took home an average annual wage of $41,790 (BLS).
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Associate degree graduates through the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians may seek voluntary certification. They may also seek CPR certification offered by an agency such as the American Red Cross. Professional certification can be maintained through continuing education. Some graduates may opt to earn a bachelor’s degree in anesthesia technology to boost their career prospects.