Anesthesia Technician Schools
What educational background is required to become an anesthesia technician or technologist?
Anesthesia technicians and technologists must have a high school diploma or the equivalent and a degree in anesthesia technology from a two-year college. This is the minimum educational requirement for anesthesia technician or technologist certification through ASATT (The American Society of Anesthesia Technicians and Technologists). However, in order to qualify for the widest range of positions available and to have greater potential for salary and professional growth, it is worth considering a four-year bachelor’s degree in anesthesia technology or a related field. It is also possible to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree in a different field and then pursue a graduate degree in anesthesia technology or obtain a professional certificate from an educational institution that offers an anesthesia technology program.
Programs in anesthesia technology are offered by a variety of educational institutions. You will find anesthesia technology training programs at
What can I expect from anesthesia technology training programs?
The curriculum of any training program in anesthesia technology should cover certain key topics and skills that are vital for efficient and safe administration of anesthesia within a clinical setting. First, the aspiring anesthesia technician must learn about the environment of the standard operating room: How is the operating room organized? How does it function? What are the established protocols in a hospital operating room and how do anesthesia technicians and technologist, as well as the anesthesia patient care team as a whole, adhere to these protocols?
A student of anesthesia technology must also learn about sterile techniques when handling anesthesia equipment and delivery systems and when administering patient care related to anesthesia. In addition, knowledge of materials management is very important. An anesthesia technician must store, handle, and administer substances, including bulk and cylinder gases that are potentially dangerous if misused or misapplied. Thus, an educational program in anesthesia technology will emphasize coursework that will familiarize the student with the properties of different anesthetic agents and how to safely and effectively manage them.
Students of anesthesia technology must also master basic and advanced life support techniques. This involves learning to understand how to calibrate and read machines that report on patients’ vital signs, while also being able to administer life-saving techniques in the operating room or other clinical setting if a patient has a bad reaction to an anesthetic agent. Anesthesia technician schools will offer coursework in human anatomy and physiology, different types of anesthesia and their effects, anesthesia pharmacology, advanced life support, and pediatric life support.
What’s involved in the clinical component of training?
Programs at anesthesia technology schools also offer clinical components that give students the opportunity to get hands on experience. In clinical rotations and practicums students learn about airway management equipment, anesthesia gas delivery systems and related monitors and accessories, intravenous therapy, the handling of intraoperative and postoperative complications, autotransfusion, blood analysis, and the operation and monitoring of intra-aortic balloon pumps. Clinical classes prepare students for anesthesia technology jobs by requiring a number of hours working in a hospital setting with real patients and assisting with real-life procedures.
What are some prerequisite courses for programs offered by anesthesia technology schools?
Prerequisites may vary depending on the anesthesia technology training program a prospective student applies for. It is highly recommended that those who intend to pursue one of these programs have a strong aptitude for math, science, and technology-related subjects, as well as a keen enjoyment of these topics. They should also enjoy working with people, as anesthesia technicians interact frequently with patients, as well as with doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and other members of the anesthesia patient care team.
Those who come to an anesthesia technician training program with a strong foundation will have taken as many advanced biology, anatomy and physiology, and mathematics classes as possible at the secondary school and college level. Pursuing certification in First Aid and Basic Life Support from the American Heart Association is also a good idea. When thinking about extracurricular activities and work experience, aspiring anesthesia technicians and technologists should consider volunteering at a hospital or earning a certification as an EMT (emergency medical technician).