Anesthesiologist assistants work in medical careers with anesthesiologists to take care of patients and work out treatment and care plans. These assistants give patients relief from pain. To become an anesthesiologist assistant, start by getting a bachelor’s degree. Most people who work in this job get a degree in a science or medical field, but it is not required. After undergraduate study, you must get a master’s degree by completing an approved program.
Anesthesiologist assistant programs take two years to complete, and those taken in the US must be approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which is located in Chicago, Illinois. There are only a limited number of anesthesiologist assistant programs in the US, although there are programs in other countries as well.
To become an anesthesiologist assistant, a student must apply and be accepted to a approved school. Depending on the school, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and/or the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is required before a student can enter the program. Courses focus on subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, clinical methods, general surgery, pediatrics, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and transplantation.
Practical training is also required. This hands-on experience usually takes place in a clinic or laboratory, and students learn how to administer different types of anesthesia and care for patients under the effects of anesthesia.
After completing the two-year program successfully, you'll receive a diploma or certification. This grants you the right to practice anesthesiology care in health care careers. Most anesthesiology assistants have hospital jobs, but some work in smaller clinics or doctors’ offices. Many eventually become anesthesiologists, but this requires further training. Assistants must work well with other people because the job is highly collaborative.
Health care jobs are in demand, and an anesthesiologist assistant’s salary varies based on the person’s experience and the area they practice in.