What is an Anesthesiologist Assistant?
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An anesthesiologist assistant (not to be confused with a nurse anesthetist) is a non-physician anesthesia provider who practices anesthesia under the medical direction of an anesthesiologist. The assistant works as an important member of the anesthesia care team. Anesthesiologist assistants are in high demand, because of the need for skilled personnel to deliver anesthesia.
What does an Anesthesiologist Assistant do?
An anesthesiologist assistant (AA) is a highly skilled professional who operates as an extension of the licensed anesthesiologist (specialist physician), and exclusively within the anesthesia care team environment, performing extremely important tasks that ensure the safety of the patient and ensure optimal health outcomes. The assistant will operate anesthesia equipment, monitor patients, and provide quality anesthesia care.
Anesthesiologist assistants accompany the patient before, during and after anesthesia to ensure quality and continued care. They are trained to assist in life-saving measures, such as CPR, and life support.
The duties of an anesthesiologist assistant may include the following:
- Take a complete health history of the patient
- Perform a physical exam to identify any issues that may affect the anesthesia care plan
- Administer necessary diagnostic and laboratory tests (such as taking blood)
- Prepare the patient to be monitored, using non-invasive and invasive methods, as determined by the physician
- Assist with preparatory procedures (pulmonary artery catheterization, electroencephalographic spectral analysis, echocardiography and evoked potentials)
- Pre-test and calibrate anesthesia delivery systems and monitors
- Induce, sustain and adjust anesthesia levels
- Ensure continuity of care through the postoperative recovery period
- Assist with life support where required, including airway management
- Perform functions in the intensive care unit and pain clinic
- Perform administrative duties, research and clinical instruction
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What is the workplace of an Anesthesiologist Assistant like?
Anesthesiologist assistants work in hospitals and surgery centers under the direction of a licensed anesthesiologist. The profession maintains a typical work week with options for on-call, evening or weekend assignments.
Anesthesiology Assistant: Job Description & Career Info
Learn about a career as an anesthesiology assistant. Read the job description, duties, education requirements, salary and employment outlook to decide if this is the right career for you.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Vs. Anesthesiologist Nurse
Anesthesia was first delivered during the Civil War by trained nurses, and nurses today still provide anesthesia services. So do specially trained doctors called anesthesiologists, and anesthesiologist assistants provide support services to both anesthesia nurses and anesthesiologists.
Anesthesiologist Assistant - Occupational Description
Anesthesiologist assistants work exclusively within the anesthesia care team environment as described by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). AAs are trained extensively in the delivery and maintenance of quality anesthesia care as well as advanced patient monitoring techniques.
Anesthesiologist assistants must have a capacity to understand and apply scientific findings, the skill to manipulate delicate instruments, the ability to think critically, and be able to follow directions. Most importantly, they should know how to deal with all kinds of people and have a sincere desire to help those needing care and attention.
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