In AAS programs in anesthesia technology, students acquire skills and experience in the field through clinical practice and classroom study. Students gain insight into patient care, surgical procedures, and aseptic techniques. This degree program typically requires two years of study to complete and is available at community colleges or technical schools.
Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma. They must also pass a background check, get a physical check-up, and demonstrate proof of immunizations and medical insurance.
Associate's Degree in Anesthesia Technology
Once enrolled, students in these programs learn to prepare equipment, supplies, and patients for surgery. Course topics include:
- Medical terminology and patient care basics
- Echocardiography analysis
- Anatomy and physiology
- Anesthesia equipment
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 112,100 jobs held by surgical technologists as of 2018. Most of those jobs were in hospitals. The BLS projected a 9% job growth for surgical technologists from 2018-2028. The best opportunities for employment will be for those that completed an accredited program and hold a certification. As of May 2018, the BLS reported the median annual wage for this field was $47,300 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates of an associate degree program may gain voluntary certification through the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians. They may also choose to pursue CPR certification through an organization such as the American Red Cross. Continuing education may be required to maintain professional certification. Some individuals may decide to advance in their careers by completing a bachelor's degree program in anesthesia technology.
Even though there are no AST programs in anesthesia technology, there are AAS programs that provide sufficient training for aspiring anesthesia technologists to start working in the field and to pursue professional certifications. Some graduates also enroll in bachelor's degree programs in the field to increase their employment opportunities.