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What Is Your Job Title?
Anesthesia Assistant – Trainee
What does an Anaesthesia Assistant Do?
I work full-time assisting the Department of Anesthesia so they can provide a safe, reliable, and timely service to their patients. We are based mainly in the Operating Room, however, our assistant services can take us to virtually any department and any area of the hospital that Anesthetists would provide their services to. Our assistant role to Anesthetists includes a technical component with:
- checking anesthesia equipment for proper performance levels.
- setting up of appropriate equipment for the anesthetic being used.
- providing trouble-shooting services for problems with equipment.
- facilitating repair/exchange of equipment as necessary.
- facilitating consistent preventative maintenance for equipment being utilized.
The clinical component role of Anesthesia Assistant includes:
- involvement with all ages of patients – neonatal, pediatric, adult, & geriatric.
- establishment of arterial/cvp lines, airways, and IV lines.
- assisting anesthesia with regional blocks.
- general assistance to the Anesthetist in whatever other service they are providing (ie. Safari Anesthesia).
What Training Is Necessary to Do Your Work?
- Pre-requisite is to be a Registered Respiratory Therapist.
- Enrollment with Thompson River University in the Anesthesia Assistant program.
- Successful completion of all Entrance Placement Exams.
- Successful completion of Core Anesthesia Assistant Courses.
Where Do You Work?
In a hospital.
Who Needs Your Services and Why?
All patients requiring surgery, and all patients who need anaesthesia for MRI, CT, Vascular procedures, etc.
What Is Your Favourite Part of Your Job?
Providing patient care, and the technical component.
What Challenges Do You Have in Your Job?
Not enough staff to cover the clinical component of our profession so that the technical component can be taken care of properly, such as preventative maintenance of equipment.
What Are the Consequences When There Are Not Enough People with Your Training to Provide Service?
Safari Anesthesia (anesthetics that are administered outside the OR environment) can be delayed, altered, and, on occasion, cancelled. On-Call individuals can become extremely fatigued because they are still expected to do their regular shift. There is no provision to have relief coverage for someone who has worked all day, worked all night, and is still expected to show up sometime for their regular shift.