With the state of the economy still in question and millions still out of work, well-paying careers that are both fulfilling and interesting are in short supply. However, many sectors of the health care industry are showing rapid growth, even during the recession. This growth encompasses a multitude of jobs, but one of the hottest right now is the anesthesia technician field. Candidates for this career have good people and communication skills, a caring personality and desire to help others. Duties commonly performed include sterilizing and preparing anesthesia tools, fetching supplies and assisting anesthesiologists and advanced techs.
Before you take the plunge and pursue your future career, you will need at least a high school diploma or an equivalent to begin anesthesia technician training. Those who wish to get into this field may wish to take extra courses in subjects like computer science and communication skills to speed up the process.
Because training is done on the job, an aspiring technician will spend their time following an experienced tech or anesthesiologist to observe their duties and learn. During this time, you will learn about how to calibrate machines, maintain supplies and equipment and how to monitor and interpret information, among other things.
According to the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT), it is advisable to earn a 2 year degree in healthcare and applied sciences before seeking certification. Typical subject matter for these courses involves general healthcare, medical terminology and equipment principles and applications. Once you have these requirements and recommendations under your belt, you are strongly encouraged to get your certification. While it isn’t necessary, it makes advancement easier.
Certification standards vary by state. Before applying, familiarize yourself with the particular set of requirements and regulations for the state in which you wish to work. Should you wish to move later in your career, you will need to take the test for that state. Regardless of any state rules, all applicants will need to present a letter from their supervisor testifying that they’ve put in their 2 years as an anesthesia technician.
The certification test is given by the ASATT, the application for which can be located on their website along with instructions and other helpful information. After you receive your approval, you’ll be allowed to choose the time and date to take your exam.
After the certification comes the well-paid job. The average rate of pay for a certified anesthesia technician ranges anywhere between $12 and $16 depending on place of employment and experience. Certifications are only valid for two years at a time, after which you will need to participate in 20 hours of further education to get re-certified.