Schools for Aspiring Anesthesia Assistants: How to Choose

Programs for anesthesia assistants prepare students to become full-time members of operating teams at hospitals or surgical centers. These programs are offered at 2- and 4-year colleges and at the master's degree level.

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Students who want to become anesthesia assistants can find appropriate degree programs at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Programs for anesthesiology assistants train students to not only assist in planning the administration of anesthesia to patients, but also help manage pre-operative and post-operative care for the patient.

Schools with Anesthesiology Assistant Programs

The following list includes a number of public and private schools that offer programs for anesthesiology assistants.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered* Tuition** (2015-2016)
Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Master's Graduate tuition $17,190
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Master's Graduate tuition $41,137
University of Missouri - Kansas City Kansas City, MO 4-year, Public Master's In-state Graduate tuition $6,213; Out-of-state Graduate tuition $16,043
City College - Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private Associate's Undergraduate tuition $13,068
City College - Miami Miami, FL 4-year, Private Associate's Undergraduate tuition $13,068
Emory University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Private, not-for-profit Master's Graduate tuition $38,800
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Associate's In-state Undergraduate tuition $4,360; Out-of-state Undergraduate tuition $6,286
Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL 4-year, Private Master's Graduate tuition $16,760
Renton Technical College Renton, WA 2-year, Public Associate's transfer program Undergraduate tuition $4,836

Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics

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School Selection Criteria

Students interested in a career as an anesthesia assistant should keep these guidelines in mind when evaluating programs:

  • Choose schools that are equipped with cutting-edge technology to prepare for potential employment in leading hospitals.
  • Seek programs that offer at least one year of clinical rotations to gain exposure to patients of all ages and with various medical needs.
  • Some schools offer associate's degrees while others offer master's degree programs in this discipline; students should select a program that is suited to their long-term career goals.
  • Review programs to ensure that they are accredited.

Master of Medical Science - Anesthesiologist Assistant

For students already holding a bachelor's degree, this 3-year master's degree program teaches patient drug and anesthesia administration and management of all anesthesia-related equipment in the operating room. MCAT or GRE scores are required for admission. Students are required to accumulate clinical experience hours for graduation.

Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiology

Some programs in anesthesiology offer a 'general track' option to students with baccalaureates that included pre-med courses or a 'physician assistant track' option to certified physician assistants. Both tracks are 24 months long. The coursework is similar, but the general track requires eight hours of experience with anesthesia in surgery, while the physician assistant track does not. MCAT or GRE scores are only required for admission into the general track. Programs include extensive clinical experiences, and students have opportunities to participate in research.

Aspiring anesthesiologist assistants can opt to pursue their career by completing an associate's degree, or by completing a master's degree program. Before enrolling, it's important to ensure the program is accredited and has clinical rotations that incorporate hands-on training.

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