Anesthesia Technologist Associate Degree
An associate's degree in anesthesia technology trains you to sedate hospital patients for surgeries and other medical procedures. Learn about associate's degree programs and certification options below. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
How Can I Find an Anesthesia Technologist Associate's Degree Program?
Associate's degree programs in anesthesia technology are available, but they can be difficult to find since the field is so specialized. You also could choose to enroll in a broader associate's program in surgical technology, which might cover anesthesia principles during class labs and clinicals. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs lists schools that offer accredited associate's degree programs in surgical technology (www.caahep.org). These programs can lead to an Associate of Applied Science or Associate of Science in surgical technology or anesthesia technology.
What Will I Study?
Anesthesia and surgical technology associate's degree programs typically consist of 64-76 credits. Your curricula might include numerous operating room practicums or clinical sessions. Some common anesthesia technology-related courses include anatomy, physiology, medical ethics, clinical procedures and EKG analysis.
You'll also learn about patient safety and methods for using and cleaning different types of anesthesia tools, such as intubation equipment and intravenous lines. Additionally, you might have the opportunity to complete an internship at a school's medical facility or an externship at a partnered, independent facility.
What Are My Online Options?
Because of the necessity of clinicals, labs and practicums, there are currently no anesthesia technology associate's degree programs presented entirely online. You may be able to find surgical technology associate's degree programs offered in a hybrid form, which might allow you to fulfill your general education requirements online. You also might be able to remotely complete the lecture component of many surgical technology classes, including human anatomy, pharmacology and medical terminology.
What Can I Expect After Graduation?
With your degree in hand, you might choose to pursue voluntary certification, which can enhance your chances for employment and advancement as an anesthesia technology professional. An associate's degree from an approved program can qualify you to sit for the Certified Anesthesia Technician (Cer.A.T.) examination administered by the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (www.asatt.org). Once you've earned the Cer.A.T. designation and gained additional experience and training, you may be eligible to sit for the Certified Anesthesia Technologist (Cer.A.T.T.) exam. PayScale.com reported that most anesthesia technicians made between $22,451 and $47,276 per year as of July 2011, while the majority of anesthesia technologists earned $21,558-$51,616 annually.
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