Anesthesia technologists assist medical professionals with patients during surgery by monitoring the patient's status, preparing medications and checking blood lines. Anesthesia technologists need to acquire hands-on skills; for this reason, online programs are rare. However, there are a few certificate and associate's degrees offered online through several colleges. Alternatively, students can study towards a bachelor's degree, such as an RN to BSN program, fully online.
Online anesthesia technologist programs are available as certificates and associate's degrees. Those who graduate from a program and provide documentation of 2080 hours of work as an anesthesia tech are qualified to take the national certification exam administered by the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) for licensure.
Anesthesia Technologist Certificate
Students access lessons through learning management systems, where they watch videos, study PowerPoint presentations, watch interactive models and engage in simulations. Courses cover all of the information students need to pass the national certification exam to become certified anesthesia technologists. Some programs do not actually award credit, but do award the certificate and graduates are qualified to take the ASATT certification examination.
Common course topics in this program include:
- Pharmacology for anesthesia professionals
- Anatomy and physiology for professionals in anesthesia
- Critical care procedures
- Clinical monitoring
- Survey of perioperative administration
Associate's Degree in Anesthesia Technology
Online associate's degree programs in anesthesia technology can be completed in two years. Students take classes through course management systems such as Blackboard, Angel or a program unique to the school. Some programs allow students to work completely at their own pace, moving on to the next lesson when the first is complete, though most have regular due dates and lessons that students must complete by a certain time.
Students also take some general education courses, such as math, English and psychology, to fulfill the degree requirements. Students learn practical skills through simulators, which test their procedure knowledge, clinical skills and general knowledge.
Some of the courses required for this program include:
- Anesthesia technology fundamentals
- Anesthesia technology clinical procedures
- Physical principals of medicine
- Fundamental chemistry
- Anatomy and physiology for anesthesia professionals
Students must complete clinical hours at a local healthcare facility to earn the associate's degree. Upon completion of the program, they need to pass the national certification exam to become certified anesthesia technologists.
Although fully-online anesthesia technology degrees are rare, students can study towards a blended course in the field. Certificate or associate's degrees are available in this format, however, students can also study an RN to BSN bachelor's program fully online.