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Unformatted text preview: Anesthesiology Assistant
By Meredith Stanley What is Anesthesia? Anesthesia is a word literally meaning "loss of sensation" or "loss of feeling" In medical terminology, anesthesia means the use of a chemical to decrease patient sensitivity to pain An Anesthesiologist is the doctor administering the anesthetics. An Anesthesiology Assistant is a specialty Physician's Assistant with a Masters who works under an anesthesiologist. More About Anesthesia There are two types of anesthesia: general anesthesia and local anesthesia General Anesthesia uses a drug to place the patient into a state of unconsciousness for the purpose of completing a surgery Local Anesthesia uses a drug to block pain in a certain area of the body without making the patient unconscious A Brief History Anesthesia has been around since ancient times. The first surgeries used alcohol, opium, or just men to hold down the patient as different ways to treat pain during surgery In the 19th century, the chemicals nitrous oxide (laughing gas), ether and chloroform were used for anesthesia Modern Day Ether and chloroform are no longer used in anesthesiology Thiopentone sodium, nitrous oxide, and halothane are drugs commonly used for General Anesthesia Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Novocain are drugs commonly used in Local Anesthesia Why is it Important? Anesthesiology is very important to almost every doctor working with patients who need some type of surgery From the smallest ingrown toenail or wisdom teeth, to a critical open-heart surgery, some form of anesthesia is needed by nearly any other type of doctor Schooling An Anesthesiology Assistant has a pre- med background from college and a Bachelor's Degree. In addition, an Anesthesiology Assistant will have completed a comprehensive instructional and clinical graduate-level program. They do not need to go to medical school. Cool! How Can I Become One? There are currently 3 schools for Anesthesiology Assistants: Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia), Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) and a partnership school between South University and the Mercer School of Medicine (Savannah, Georgia). Florida has also opened its first school which is now accepting students Currently, more schools are in the process of opening but none are yet on the way for Arizona So, Now What?? Most Anesthesiology schools average 2 years to fully train students After completion of schooling an AA (Anesthesiology Assistant) can become certified by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA). Show me the Money The starting salary for an anesthesiology assistant can vary but is usually within the range of $80,000 to $90,000 Salary increases as practice time increases; if an AA chooses to return to medical school for additional training or to become an anesthesiologist salary can also increase ...
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- Spring '08