Anaesthetic technician

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Anaesthetic technicians use infusion pumps to deliver medications.
Drug ampoules contain small amounts of medications.

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.

Role description[edit]

Anaesthetic technicians are involved with all aspects of the delivery of a patient's perioperative anaesthetic care,[1] 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[edit]

Anaesthetic technicians prepare equipment needed for the patient to safely undergo anaesthesia. This involves:

During anaesthesia[edit]

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.

After anaesthesia[edit]

Anaesthetic technicians assist the anaesthetist with:

  • waking the patient.
  • removing airway devices.
  • transferring patients to post-operative care units

Other activities[edit]

Regional variations exist, but anaesthetic technicians may also be involved with:

(Registered) Anaesthetic Technicians in  New Zealand[edit]

Anaesthetic Technicians work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team that includes doctors, nurses and support workers. The New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians Society are a body that provides education and support for Anaesthetic Technicians.


Anaesthetic technicians are now covered under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.[2] 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) [3] 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.

The amount of practical clinical hours required are laid out by the Australia & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, professional document PS8.[4]

Anaesthetic Technicians in  Australia[edit]


Anaesthetic Technicians in Australia are provided with voluntary registration of their National Body the Australian Anaesthesia Allied Health Practitioners AAAHP ( . In Western Australia the Association of Operating Theatre Practitioners (WA) (AOTP) is a professional society for anaesthetic technicians in Western Australia. The AAAHP is currently working with the Australian government to introduce Mandatory Regulation. 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. Currently in Australia Anaesthesia Technicians are covered by the Code of conduct for unregistered health professionals, .

Health training package[edit]

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) - Tafe Queensland Brisbane 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][5]

Anesthesia Technicians in the  United States[edit]

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).[6] This position should not be confused with that of an anesthesiologist assistant who actively participates as a licensed anesthesia provider.

Certified Anesthesia Technician[edit]

Certified Anesthesia Technologist[edit]

Associate & Bachelors Programs[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NZATS Scope of Practice
  2. ^ Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003), New Zealand Government
  3. ^ Diploma of Applied Sciences (Anaesthetic Technology)
  4. ^ ANZCA Professional Document - PS8 Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ WA Qualifications Archived March 23, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "ASATT - Standards of Practice". American Society of Anesthesia Technologists & Technicians. Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-10-27.