Anesthesia Tech Certification

What is a Certified Anesthesia Technician?

To become a Certified Anesthesia Technician, one must successfully pass an examination administered by the ASATT (The American Society of Anesthesiology Technicians and Technologists). The ASATT sets certain standards for professional and educational credentials for anesthesiology technicians and determines the qualifications for anesthesia tech certification.

In order to become certified, an anesthesia technician must demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge and skill in the area of anesthesia care.  He or she must know how to assemble, calibrate, and prepare anesthesia delivery equipment for use in anesthesia administration.  He or she must also be proficient in the inspection, maintenance, and troubleshooting of such equipment.  Because anesthetic agents are potentially dangerous when misused or improperly applied, an anesthesiology technician who seeks certification must have firm knowledge of all safety and handling guidelines and regulations related to gases and other anesthetic substances.

What education is required to become a Certified Anesthesia Technician?

To become certified, anesthesia technicians should, at a minimum, have a high school diploma or the equivalent and hold a degree from a two-year anesthesia technology training program that has been approved by the ASATT (American Society of Anesthesia Technicians and Technologists).  Such an approved program will have a clinical component that involves the hands-on administration of anesthesia and the handling and maintenance of anesthesia equipment. Certification by the ASATT also requires two years of work experience in a clinical setting as an anesthesia technician.

What skills and competencies are required to become a Certified Anesthesia Technician?

Certification as an anesthesia technician requires a thorough knowledge of the principles of patient care as they pertain to and are impacted by anesthesia as well as show practical skill in carrying them out.  In addition, he or she must demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the equipment, materials, and supplies used in the administration, storage, and handling of anesthetic agents and in related patient care activities.  Certified Anesthesia Technicians must also be able to understand and use medical terminology related to anesthesia and basic patient care.  They must also have a thorough understanding of human anatomy and physiology, especially as it relates to the administration of anesthetic agents and their effects on the human body.

A Certified Anesthesia Technician must also demonstrate an understanding of life support functions and equipment.  He or she must show the capacity to function effectively in complex diagnostic and patient care situations, as well as other clinical contexts.


What is a Certified Anesthesia Technologist

A Certified Anesthesia Technologist is an anesthesia technician who has undergone additional training and obtained additional experience above and beyond that which is necessary to become a certified anesthesia technician.  To become a Certified Anesthesia Technologist, an anesthesia technician must complete and pass both the Certified Anesthesia Technician Examination and the Certified Anesthesia Technologist Examination, which are offered by ASATT (The American Society of Anesthesia Technicians and Technologists).

Among the specialized skills required for this advanced certification level, the Certified Anesthesia Technologist must be proficient with intra-operative fluid management, volume resuscitation, the operation of auto transfusion machinery, the upkeep and inspection of anesthesia gas delivery equipment and systems, and the monitoring of the intra-aortic balloon pump during surgery. He or she must have thorough practical knowledge of a wide range of anesthesia delivery systems, as well as of related medical equipment, including rapid infusion devices, EKGs, pulse oximeters, scavenger systems, and gas analyzers, patient warming devices, humidification units, endoscopic equipment, infusion pumps, and neuromuscular devices.  The certified anesthesia technologist must also be able to perform basic and advanced life support, as well as pediatric advanced life support.  He or she must have the advanced skills necessary to provide assistance to anesthesiologists and other care providers in procedures such as fiber optic intubation and insertion of pulmonary artery catheters and central venous access.  He or she must complete a course in EKG administration and reading and be able to detect dysrhythmias and arrhythmias on patient EKGs during the application of anesthesia.

A Certified Anesthesia Technologist should be prepared and qualified to take on administrative and leadership duties in addition to those usually handled by a certified anesthesia technician.  These may include the coordination of various staff on the anesthesia patient care team and communication with representatives of other healthcare teams involved with the patient’s case, as well as participation in various departmental or institutional committees and taskforces.


What education and experience is required to become a Certified Anesthesia Technologist?

The basic educational and experiential requirements for a Certified Anesthesia Technologist are the same as those for a Certified Anesthesia Technician: a high school diploma or the equivalent, a two-year degree in anesthesia technology, and two years of clinical work experience.  In addition, a degree or educational certificate in health care administration and two years experience in health care administration in anesthesia or other allied health field are required in order to become a Certified Anesthesia Technologist.

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