Anesthesia Assistant

Anesthesia Assistant:
at a glance

Credential(s) Earned

Graduate Certificate

Program Length

Semester 1 : 14 weeks (13 weeks + 5 day residential)
Semester 2 : 15 weeks (13 weeks + 10 day residential)
Semester 3 - Clinical: 12 weeks (approximate, including a minimum 2 week elective rotation external to the assigned base site)

Delivery Method

Part time

Start Date

September 2014

Application Deadline

May 15, 2014

Apply Through

Directly to Michener

Career Opportunities

Anesthesia Assistants work in operating rooms as part of anesthesia care teams in many facilities across Canada. Significant growth in the profession is anticipated due to the aging population and associated rise in surgical procedures and decrease in the number of Anesthesiologists in Canada. Anesthesia Assistants’ skills are also required in other areas of the hospital, including post-operative care areas, labour and delivery, emergency, and intensive care.

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What is an Anesthesia Assistant?

An Anesthesia Assistant is a specially trained, health professional that participates in the care of the stable surgical patient during general, regional, or conscious sedation anesthesia through medical directives under the supervision of and immediate availability of the anesthesiologist.

What does an Anesthesia Assistant do?

The Anesthesia Assistant is a valuable member of the anesthesia care team who works closely with the anesthesiologist during surgery.

  • Provides technical support to Anesthesiologist for complex anesthesia equipment
  • Provides airway management assistance
  • Monitors patient’s hemodynamic status, blood, fluid and pharmacological therapy
  • Performs activities such as administration of anesthetic gases and medications, insertion and management of hemodynamic monitors, and management of anesthesia equipment.In addition the Anesthesia Assistant provides physiologic surveillance of the stable patient under general anesthesia, regional anesthesia and for procedural sedation. This provision of anesthesia care is under the direct supervision of the Anesthesiologist and under the authority of medical directives.

How long does it take?

Didactic

Semester 1

In the first semester, Michener’s Anesthesia Assistant program is offered in a distributed learning format with three online courses over 12 weeks. At the conclusion of these courses, students will complete a 5 day residential at Michener Institute that includes sessions and evaluations in the classroom, the laboratory and Simulation centre.

Students will require access to anesthesia equipment and monitors during this semester at their base site. Computer literacy is highly recommended.

Semester 2

In the second term, Michener’s Anesthesia Assistant program is offered on site one day per week for 13 weeks plus a 10 day residency that includes sessions and evaluations in the classroom and Simulation centre.

Clinical

Semester 3

Currently an approximate 12 week clinical practicum, including a minimum 2 week elective rotation in a specialty area is required for completion of the Anesthesia Assistant Graduate Certificate.  Elective rotations are assigned to the student external to their base site. All students must demonstrate clinical competence in 4 specialty areas : cardiac, obstetrics, pediatrics, and regional Anesthesia as well as general adult anesthesia. The clinical phase is to be completed within a six month consecutive time frame.

Admission Requirements

  • Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Registered Nurse (RN);
  • 2 years or full time equivalent (>4000 hours) critical care experience within the past 4 years (ICU, ER, NICU, PACU)
  • Letter from base site – Chief of Anesthesia, indicating support for clinical education. Please note that all students are required to complete a minimum 2 week elective rotation external to the assigned base site.
  • A Pre- Entrance Assessment may be required by applicants to determine exact course of study
  • Students must have access to a computer that meets the minimum system requirements, access to the Internet and an e-mail account.
  • Computer literacy is highly recommended
  • Students must meet Michener’s English language proficiency policy. Please view the English Language Requirement for further information. If you require an English language assessment, please review our English Language Assessment page for specific requirements.
  • Students must have access to anesthesia equipment (Anesthesia Gas Machines, ICU Ventilators & monitors) throughout the course.

What will I learn?

Semester 1

In the first term of the program, you will begin to acquire the technical expertise, knowledge and interpersonal skills needed to become a valuable member of the anesthesia care team. The 1st semester consists of one comprehensive course and includes a 5 day residency at the end of the course work. Course competencies include:

  • Exploring the pharmacological principles of anesthesia and categorizing the clinical manifestations of pharmacological agents used in anesthesia
  • Developing strong technical expertise in all equipment associated with the anesthetic gas machine and pollution control systems
  • Developing strong technical and clinical expertise in the use of physiologic monitoring equipment

Semester 2

In the second term, one comprehensive course is delivered online and in the classroom for the purpose of team discussions and preparation of the weekly cases.  Learners are required to be onsite one day per week for 13 weeks to present their case studies and participate in discussions and scenario re-enactments which occur in the Simulation centre.  The semester concludes with a 10 day residential period at the end of the course work.  Course competencies include:

  • Evaluating the pre, peri and postoperative patient
  • Advanced airway management
  • Assisting with pharmacological therapy
  • Maintaining fluid therapy
  • Assisting with the administration of peripheral nerve blocks, spinal anesthetics and epidurals
  • Assisting with the administration and maintenance of general anesthesia for stable patients
  • Performing procedural sedation
  • Managing special anesthetic considerations

Semester 3: Clinical

Students will then be required to complete an approximate 12 week clinical rotation, including a minimum 2 week elective rotation external to the assigned base site, within a 6 month period. Course competencies on adult and pediatric patients include:

  • Evaluating the pre, peri and postoperative patient
  • Advanced airway management
  • Assisting with pharmacological therapy
  • Maintaining fluid therapy
  • Assisting with the administration of peripheral nerve blocks, spinal anesthetics and epidurals
  • Assisting with the administration and maintenance of general anesthesia for stable patients
  • Performing procedural sedation
  • Managing special anesthetic considerations