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Anesthesia Technician Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options

Anesthesia Technician Video: Educational Requirements and Career Options Transcript

The healthcare industry is one of the largest in the nation, making medical assisting and nursing careers attractive options for students. An increase in the number of hospital support staff positions and new, emerging areas of specialization add to this appeal. Nurse and medical assistant positions also provide rewarding work and allow professionals to make a difference in the lives of patients. Anesthesia technicians, who assist medical staff during surgery, are no exception.

Introduction

Anesthesia technicians assist anesthesiologists, surgeons and other medical staff in the care of patients before, during and after surgical procedures. A primary responsibility of these professionals is to set up and attend to anesthesia equipment during surgery and other intensive treatments. It's very important that anesthesia technicians carefully monitor dosages of medications so that patients are free of pain without being overloaded by potentially harmful chemicals. Anesthesia technicians also monitor a patient's condition throughout the course of a procedure, including during pre-op and post-op phases, and may be responsible for the care and maintenance of anesthesia equipment.

Typical Coursework

Anesthesia technicians must be familiar with all aspects of surgery and operating room procedure. Anyone preparing for this profession must take courses in sterilizing techniques, anesthesia protocol and pre- and post-surgery routines. They must be trained in the use of anesthesia equipment, including the equipment used for both inhalation and intravenous delivery systems. Anesthesia technicians are also required to learn how to monitor a patient's condition on cardiac monitors and other equipment. Courses in anatomy and physiology are common, as is training for monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and other vitals. Upon completion of a program, usually in the form of an associate degree, students are then qualified to take (and must pass) a national exam to obtain certification as an anesthesia technician.

Job Prospects

Since there is a national shortage of anesthesia technicians, these professionals are in high demand. The shortage has, in large part, been caused by an increase in the number of procedures being performed on an aging population. Additionally, whole new areas of medical technology and operations are emerging requiring professionals with specialized knowledge.

Most anesthesia technicians work in hospitals and clinics, though some may also be employed in physicians' offices where outpatient treatments are performed. As with many health care workers, anesthesia technicians often have a flexible schedule that reflects the need for professionals at all hours. While not as lucrative as some other, more high-profile medical careers, anesthesia technicians can earn a healthy living given the current demand.

Sources

www.bls.gov/oco

www.asatt.org

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