Online Anesthesia Tech Schools: How to Choose

Online anesthesia technologist programs are almost impossible to find, though some related programs and refresher courses may be available in this format. Consider the program availability and support for certification for each before deciding where to enroll.

How to Select an Online Anesthesia Tech School

Students considering online anesthesia tech schools must make their decision based on several key factors. Most employers will not hire anesthesia technicians who did not complete programs recognized by the American Society of Anesthesia Technicians and Technologists (ASATT), which means that full online programs are not typically available. The only online learning options in this field tend to be online refresher programs for current techs.

Program Availability

Because the ASATT does not normally approve institutions that do not have a significant amount of clinical practice requirements, fully online anesthesia tech programs are rare to nonexistent. Scattered refresher courses are available for those who have opted for practical anesthesia technician training and are preparing to take the ASATT examination for certification.

Certification Requirements

Anesthesia technician certification from ASATT requires that students either attend an approved two-year education program or complete at least two years of work experience as anesthesia techs. Applicants must also have a high school diploma or GED, be proficient in English and have basic computer skills. Students should be sure that whatever school they apply for meets their needs, both educationally and with respect to certification requirements.

Online Programs for Anesthesia Technicians

Anesthesia Technical Services Refresher Certificate

A small number of anesthesia technical services certificates are available online. These are designed as refresher courses for uncertified anesthesia techs who wish to take the national certification examination but need to fill in knowledge gaps. Graduates of such programs receive certificates of completion. However, online certificate programs may not be approved by the ASATT, so prospective students should be able to satisfy all ASATT certification criteria without regard to the certificate program. The coursework covers:

  • Anatomy and physiology for anesthesia
  • Basic anesthesia pharmacology
  • Supplies and equipment for anesthesiology
  • Patient monitoring
  • Critical care for anesthesia patients

Schools with Online Programs in Anesthesia Technology

North Seattle College offers an anesthesia technical services certificate program in an online format. Designed specifically for experienced professionals looking to enhance their education and advance in their careers, prerequisites are fairly strict. In addition to an adviser's permission and completion of high level math and English courses, students must pass a background test, be familiar with online learning formats and have experience with computers, and meet at least one qualification between: Having a current professional credential, 15 hours of anesthesia technician work experience, or the equivalent training and education. They must also attend on-campus orientation.

The College of DuPage offers a certificate and associate's degree anesthesia technology almost entirely online. All lectures will be presented in an online format, but hands-on work will be required in the form of clinical practice, which students must arrange themselves at a medical facility if they are outside of the state. In addition to standard academic prerequisites, students should generally be physically fit enough to perform normal medical duties and lift things weighing in excess of 100 lbs.

Students wishing to find online anesthesia technology programs may have difficulty locating them, but some do exist, as do related programs and refresher courses. When selecting which program to attend, verify what kind of programs are available to students and how prepared you will be for certification upon graduation.

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