If you’re planning a career as an anesthesia technician, keep reading. This guide contains information about educational requirements, what it’s like to be an anesthesia technician, the median salary and more.
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What Does an Anesthesia Technician Do?
Anesthesia technicians are vital to any medical facility’s anesthesia care team. They ensure that the anesthesia equipment is clean and functional and, most importantly, use their technical knowledge to protect the patient's safety. Anesthesia Technicians can work in any setting where anesthesia is administered to patients, including hospitals, dentistry practices and specialized surgery centers.
Along with sanitizing anesthesia equipment, anesthesia technicians are also in charge of stocking necessary supplies, properly setting up patient monitoring devices, troubleshooting equipment in need of repair and assisting anesthesia providers with specific patient procedures. Common anesthesia technician duties and responsibilities include:
Technical tasks, such as identifying equipment problems and ensuring that the equipment is repaired and inspected.
Clerical tasks, such as keeping records of inspections and maintenance.
Patient care tasks, such as explaining procedures to patients and assisting with administering anesthesia.
How Do You Become an Anesthesia Technician?
Complete your bachelor’s degree:
Employers require potential candidates to have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent. This is the only concrete requirement for listings seeking an uncertified anesthesia technician. However, many employers state a preference for anesthesia technicians with official certification and two years or more of previous experience as an anesthesia technician.
The next step for an aspiring anesthesia technician is to become certified through the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). First, you must graduate from an ASATT-approved or accredited educational program, which typically takes two years to complete. To find an approved program near you, click here. After completing an approved program, you will be eligible to take the ASATT anesthesia technologist certification test.
Career outlook and job vacancies:
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for surgical technologists, which includes anesthesia technicians, is increasing by a rapid rate of 15%, which means that 14,700 new positions will become available between 2014 and 2024. This above-average increase in demand is a result of an increase in surgical operations, which is a result of improved surgical safety.
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Anesthesia Technician Skills
While sterilizing and stocking anesthesia equipment may sound pretty straightforward, one of the most crucial skills of anesthesia technicians is remaining calm and effectively performing duties even in a stressful operating room situation.
Anesthesia technicians must not only have an excellent technical understanding of anesthesia equipment and supplies but must also be able to act as helpful assistants to anesthesia providers during both routine and complex surgeries.
Essential anesthesia technician soft skills include:
How Much Do Anesthesia Technicians Get Paid?
Depending on whether they’re employed as a full-time employee or a contractor, Anesthesia Technicians are paid either on an hourly wage basis or a yearly wage basis. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Anesthesia Technicians have a median hourly wage of $21.31, with the lowest-paid earning $15.10 per hour and the highest paid earning $30.48 per hour.
Top Ten States for Anesthesia Technician Salary
Anesthesia Technicians in the following ten states earn the highest median hourly wage in the U.S.
Anesthesia Technician Resources
We put together this list of resources to help you keep exploring your career as an Anesthesia Technician.
American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians
The ASATT provides a quarterly magazine, education and continuing education, certification and a number of local, regional and national meetings. They also offer discounted membership rates for students.
International Anesthesia Research Society
The IARS provides a monthly journal, educational resources and annual meetings. Reduced student membership rates are available.
Anesthesia Technicians on LinkedIn
Anesthesia Technician Group
This group of over 3,000 members touches on all aspects of being an Anesthesia Technician, from daily life to exam preparation.
This group of over 8,000 members focuses on professional networking as well as the sharing of anesthesia-related ideas.
Anesthesia Technician Books
The Anesthesia Technician and Technologist’s Manual
This study and reference guide gives the reader a broad overview of all the skills and knowledge needed to be an Anesthesia Technician. It can be used either as a study guide for those preparing to take a certification exam or as a reference manual for those who need a quick refresher on the job.
Anesthesia Technician Survival Guide
This book is a pocket-sized resource of information, which goes over everything from equipment cleaning to complex surgery protocol.