||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (October 2010)|
An anaesthetic technician (British English) or anesthesia technician (US English) is an allied healthcare worker who assists with the administration and monitoring of anaesthesia and has an extensive knowledge of anaesthesia techniques, instruments, supplies, and technology.
Anaesthetic technicians are mainly employed by anaesthetic departments or operating theatre suites, but can be found in other areas of clinical practice including emergency departments, intensive care units (ICU) and day surgery clinics.
- 1 Role description
- 2 (Registered) Anaesthetic Technicians in New Zealand
- 3 Anaesthetic Technicians in the United Kingdom
- 4 Anaesthetic Technicians in Australia
- 5 Anesthesia Technicians in the United States
- 6 See also
- 7 References
Anaesthetic technicians are involved with all aspects of the delivery of a patient's perioperative anaesthetic care, taking into account the patients' religious and cultural beliefs and respecting their right to medical privacy and dignity at all times. Anaesthetic Technician also provide a key role in the emergency resuscitation of patients.
Prior to anaesthesia
Anaesthetic technicians prepare equipment needed for the patient to safely undergo anaesthesia. This involves:
- checking and setting up the anaesthetic machine
- preparing intravenous drugs
- preparing intravenous therapy administration equipment
- preparing a range of devices to maintain the patient's airway (e.g. laryngeal masks, endotracheal tube)
- communicating with the patient when they arrive into the operating theatre
- establish peripheral intravenous access.
- applying anaesthetic monitoring to help assess the patients' condition whilst under anaesthesia. This may include electrocardiography (ECG), blood pressure and oxygen saturation devices. The monitoring of other parameters such as anaesthesia depth monitors (EEG, bispectral index etc.) may also be necessary.
The anaesthetic technicians role includes assisting with:
- inducing and maintaining adequate anaesthesia.
- establishing and securing an airway.
- making sure that patients are positioned in such a way NOT to cause discomfort or injury during their procedure.
- monitoring and maintaining patients' vital signs and anaesthesia depth.
- temperature monitoring and regulation.
- collection and analysis of patient (blood) samples.
- acquiring and administering transfusion fluids and equipment.
Anaesthetic technicians assist the anaesthetist with:
- waking the patient.
- removing airway devices.
- transferring patients to post-operative care units
Regional variations exist, but anaesthetic technicians may also be involved with:
- Intra-operative intra-aortic balloon pump setup, operating and monitoring.
- Swan-Ganz pulmonary artery catheter insertion and monitoring.
- Intra-operative blood salvage setup, operating and monitoring.
- Arterial blood gas analysis, including maintenance of analysers.
- Arterial line insertion and monitoring.
- Peripheral IV line insertion.
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
- Central IV lines.
- TEG Sampling.
(Registered) Anaesthetic Technicians in New Zealand
Anaesthetic Technicians work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team that includes doctors, nurses and support workers. The New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians Society area body that provides education and support for Anaesthetic Technicians.
Anaesthetic technicians are now covered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. New Zealand based Anaesthetic assistants must now be registered by law with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand (formerly the Medical Laboratory Sciences Board).
In order to practice, members must obtain an Annual Practising Certificate from the Medical Sciences Council.
In New Zealand, a Diploma of Applied Science (Anaesthetic Technology)  is the national qualification. This is studied for through Auckland University of Technology. Other (international) qualifications may also be acceptable for working as an Anaesthetic Technician in New Zealand.
Anaesthetic Technicians in the United Kingdom
This role within the United Kingdom is performed by Operating Department Practitioners. This role also includes training for surgical scrub and PACU roles.
Anaesthetic Technicians in Australia are provided with voluntary registration of either the Australasian Society of Anaesthesia Paramedical Officers (ASAPO) www.asapo.org.au or the Association of Operating Theatre Practitioners(W.A.) (A.O.T.P.) www.aotp.org.au . These 2 associations are working together to achieve a Voluntary Registration process and are working with the Australian government to introduce Mandatory Regulation. This will assist in reducing the number of deregistered practitioners from other countries seeking work in Australia. Minimum requirements for Voluntary Registration is completion of the nationally accredited Diploma of Paramedical Science(Anaesthesia) or in Western Australia and some hospitals in Victoria Certificate IV in Anaesthetic Technology. Overseas trained Anaesthetic Technicians who are NOT registered in the UK, NZ, Canada or USA must have their qualifications level assessed by NOOSR, undertake a IELTs, have their qualification mapped against the Australian qualifications & maintain employment as an Anaesthetic Technician in Australia or New Zealand.
Health training package
Nationally recognised Diploma in Paramedical Science (Anaethesia) and in Western Australia and some hospitals in Victoria Certificate IV in Anaesthetic Technology....
- Diploma of Paramedical Science (Anaesthesia) - Integrated Care Management New South Wales
- Diploma of Paramedical Science (Anaesthesia) - Southbank Institute of Technology Queensland
- Diploma of Paramedical Science (Anaesthesia) - Box Hill Institute
- The recognised minimum qualifications in Western Australia is the Certificate IV in Anaesthetic Technology, but this is being phased out as they move towards the Diploma.[clarification needed]
Anesthesia Technicians in the United States
In the United States, the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists & Technicians (ASATT), acknowledges the scope of practice for the anaesthesia technical personnel. The commitment of ASATT is to ensure that efficient, safe, competent, and ethical practices are provided to society and maintaining professional standards of practice. ASATT acknowledges that the anaesthesia technical personnel are a part of the anaesthesia care team as listed in the practice guidelines of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). This position should not be confused with that of an anesthesiologist assistant who actively participates as a licensed anesthesia provider.
Certified Anesthesia Technician
Certified Anesthesia Technologist
Associate & Bachelors Programs
- City College (Florida) 
- Grossmont College 
- Milwaukee Area Technical College 
- North Seattle Community College - Online
- Renton Technical College 
- Sanford-Brown Institute - Houston 
- Sanford-Brown Institute - Iselin 
- Sanford-Brown Institute - Pittsburgh 
- Sanford-Brown College - St. Peters 
- Stony Brook University 
- NZATS Scope of Practice
- Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003), New Zealand Government
- Diploma of Applied Sciences (Anaesthetic Technology)
- ANZCA Professional Document - PS8
- WA Qualifications
- "ASATT - Standards of Practice". American Society of Anesthesia Technologists & Technicians. Retrieved 2010-10-27.