5 Steps to become an anesthesiologist assistant!

If you want to become an anesthesiologist assistant, you are aiming for a career as a non-physician anesthesia provider who will work under the medical supervision of an anesthesiologist. As an anesthesiologist assistant, you are going to be an integral part of anesthesia care teams.

Being an Anesthesiologist Assistant, you are going to carry out a lot of duties – performing the physical exams, administering local and general anesthesia, inserting invasive monitoring devices…and a lot more.

So, clearly, an anesthesiologist assistant’s job is not easy.  And therefore, it is very important that you have the right qualification for this job.

anesthesiologist assistant
Basic Requirements to Become an Anesthesiologist Assistant

Education: you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree with subjects like chemistry or biology as Major. If possible, it would be even better if you could attend an accredited college or university with a pre-med or science program. It being a competitive field, your academics should be excellent if you want entry into this medical field.

If you are a student preparing for graduate school, you should take the MCAT or GRE. Passing in one of these pre-admission tests is required no matter what school you want to attend for your graduation.

To get the Anesthesiologist Assistant Degree, apply to an accredited school. The American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistant lists 10 or more such schools which provide Master’s degree programs in this field. The AA program takes a full 24 months to complete and it requires long, demanding hours of studying. Take the help of your school’s career counselor-advisor at every possible step for a better understanding of the things you need to do in order to become an Anesthesiologist Assistant.

Training: most schools will require a minimum number of ‘job-shadowing hours’ under the supervision of an Anesthesia Care Team before you are approved for admission to a Graduate program. Students might get recruited during their college clinical work as well. Others must contact the local operating room supervisor so that he can recommend your name to the anesthesia department of the concerned hospital/nursing home.

License: certification is not a must have in this field but job opportunities in the market increase if you can present yourself along with a certificate. The National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) oversees the six year process of certification of the Anesthesiologist Assistants in the United States.

Skills: as an Anesthesiologist Assistant, you need to demonstrate many qualities akin to both technical and general health care professionals. You must be a good listener and must be able to follow all the critical instructions from your Anesthesiologist Supervisor. You must possess a strong sense of ethics, must have patience, compassion…you must also be open-minded, observant, tolerant and of course, a dedicated professional.

Now, it is time to follow the…

Steps for becoming an Anesthesiologist Assistant:

  • First, complete your Bachelor’s degree with general pre-medical classes. Requirements of admission in a graduate school might include two semesters each of biology, chemistry (anatomy, physiology), physics and advanced college math.

  •  Take either the Graduate Records Examination or Medical College Admission Test and then apply to an Anesthesiology Assistant Program which has the accreditation of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

  • Complete your master’s program in Anesthesiology Assisting. It will take around 24 months to complete the coursework – with anesthetic science, anatomy, patient monitoring as well as hands-on-clinical practice.

  • Adhere to the license requirements of your state medical board. You can take the certifying exams of The National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants during the last year of study or after graduation.

  • You need to complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years as well as document your study to the NCCAA to maintain your certificate.

And now you are ready to be an Anesthesiologist Assistant. If you have always thought of helping the poor, the sick…now is your chance to do so.

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