How To Become An Anesthesiologist Assistant
An anesthesiologist assistant is an important part of a healthcare team. They work closely with an anesthesiologist, helping patients before, during and after surgery. They make sure that patients remain comfortable and safe during surgery. This position requires a master’s degree.
Why Become An Anesthesiologist Assistant
Anesthesia is a type of medicine, used to control pain during surgery. Doctors use anesthesia because patients would be in horrific pain if they did not take medicine during surgery.
There are many types of anesthesia. Local anesthesia numbs one small region of the body. This is used, for example, during dental surgeries. General anesthesia makes a patient unconscious. They do not feel any pain, and return to consciousness after the procedure is finished.
Anesthesiologist assistants help during surgery. They talk to the patient, explaining the details of the procedure. They administer anesthesia to the patient. They check vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, making sure that the patient stays safe during the surgery. The assistant works alongside the anesthesiologist, surgeon, and other healthcare team members, doing any tasks that are requested. After the procedure is finished, the anesthesiologist assistant helps with the recovery of the patient.
This is a great career choice for somebody who is passionate about health care, who enjoys surgery as a specialty, who is compassionate, and who wants a job that is in high demand.
Anesthesiologist Assistants should have the following qualities and skills:
- Enjoys medical field
- Attention to detail
- Good communicator
- Works well under pressure
- Problem solver
Anesthesiologist Assistant Work Environment
Anesthesiologist assistants usually work in hospitals. Other places they may work include outpatient care centers and physician offices. They work alongside the anesthesiologist, conducting major and minor surgeries that require the use of anesthesia. They follow strict procedures to make sure that a patient remains safe and comfortable during the surgery.
This job involves working in a facility with patients who have various illnesses or injuries. People in this profession must exercise caution to stay healthy. Anesthesiologist assistant spend much of their day walking or standing. This position involves working on a team with other health care professionals.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Salary
Anesthesiologist assistants made a median annual salary of $101,480 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Salaries vary considerably across the profession. The industry that a person works in can determine what kind of salary a person makes. Hospitals, physician offices, and outpatient care centers are some of the largest employers of anesthesiologist assistants; they are also paid the highest salaries in these venues. Government offices and universities, on the other side of the spectrum, tend to pay less than average in this field. Anesthesiologist assistants who have several years of experience and education may be eligible to receive higher salaries.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Career Outlook
Employment for anesthesiologist assistants is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is extremely fast growth compared to other careers in the United States. People who are interested in this field should easily be able to find positions, as there is a high demand.
Health care is performed by teams of people, all of whom have essential roles. Today, many tasks are performed by physician assistants. While doctors are busy handling other aspects of their job, they often hand over duties to their assistants. Assistants, such as anesthesiologist assistants, are able to perform many of the same tasks as a medical doctor, while being more cost effective. This frees up time in the doctor’s schedule for other tasks.
New health care laws have made it easier for people to get the medical treatment that they need. More people are seeking out specialized medical doctors for treatment. More people will need surgeries requiring the use of anesthesia.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Degree
If you would like to become an anesthesiologist assistant, read below to find out how.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. A bachelor’s degree is required to have a career in this field. Programs that a person may be interested in include nursing, health sciences, biology, pre-med, and more. During your undergraduate years you will take classes, as well as be able to do clinical work in this field. It is a great way to see if health care is the right career path for you. It takes four years to receive your bachelor’s degree.
Step 2: Internship. Graduate schools will require you to complete an internship experience as a prerequisite to admission. You can obtain this through clinical work done during undergraduate school, or by job shadowing professors or a local hospital. Every university will have a minimum number of hours that will need to be completed.
Step 3: Graduate school. You will be required to have a master’s degree in order to become an anesthesiologist assistant. There are only about one dozen schools in the United States that offer a master’s degree in Anesthesiologist Assistant, so it is important to apply to these schools and enroll. During your graduate schooling you will take specialized coursework and work in a clinical environment. It takes two years to receive your master’s degree.