Episode 70: Anesthesia Assistants

In this mini episode I thank Shirley Li, an Anesthesia Assistant student in Texas, for teaching me a bit about the career path of an Anesthesia Assistant and I share some of what she shared with me for any who are interested.

13 Replies to “Episode 70: Anesthesia Assistants”

  1. Hey!
    I am a huge fan of the podcast and have listened for years now. I was so happy to hear you mention AAs, as I am a practicing C-AA and love my job! Your podcast keeps me up to date and offers me great perspectives. Thanks again!!

  2. Hi Jed,

    Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your podcast’s and your canter. As a current CRNA student it has been discouraging to experience the animosity held by many providers toward other anesthesia professionals solely due to their training background. However, hearing anesthesia educators such as yourself and Admir Hadzic discuss personal view points gives me hope blanket discrimination is not shared all. So thank you for being apolitical and prioritizing better patient outcomes above politics. What ever our title is, I think we are all so lucky to be in this profession. If anyone listening is on the fence about anesthesia, but can’t decide which way to go. Talk to as many people as you can, be honest about what your priorities are, make a pro’s and con’s list, then just go for it. It’s an incredible journey.

    Thank you for all you do Jed,

    – Kevin

  3. I’m an AA student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I love your podcasts. Every morning I choose one that is related to my case(s) for the day and I listen while driving to my clinical site. They have helped me a ton! Also, thank you for helping us spread the word about our career (and to Shirley for emailing you!)

  4. I just wanted to post some more information about another pathway to becoming an anesthesia provider. There is an avenue for dentists to become dental anesthesiologists. I am graduating from dental school in June and will be starting my residency in dental anesthesiology in July. If anyone would like more information please see ASDAHQ.ORG

  5. I have worked around AAs in the past and I have talked to several attendings who supervised both CRNAs and AAs, and they have been described to me as being “functionally no different.” That their knowledge, training, and capabilities in the OR were equivalent. That has been my perception as well, though my perspective was more of an outsider looking in (in Med school, when on surgical rotations.)

    1. @AResident: There may be truth that in the clinical setting you can see no difference between any of the chosen anesthesia providers however there is big difference in how a physician is trained and a CRNA and an AA. There is no contest when comparing these three groups. Of the three groups AA do not have the medical background and experience and their training is not as long or as intense as the other two.

  6. So glad you made this podcast. I’m an AA student from Nova-Tampa and I’ve listened to this podcast for over a year now. It’s amazing! I recommend it to anyone I come across, AA students, SRNAs, Residents and even practicing anesthesia providers. Thank you for acknowledging us and for letting the rest of your listeners know about this profession. Hope you get to work with an AA soon.

  7. Hi Jed-
    My name is Hope Ibrahim and I’m a senior AA student at NSU in Fort Lauderdale. I am a huge fan of the podcast! Thank you for these lectures and encouraging reminders that what we do is valued. Early in my training, during even the really calm moments in the OR I remember fiercely staring at the patient then back at the monitor, then back at the patient; so afraid I would miss something if I even blinked(my eyes were always so dry)! It has been 27 really long months filled with endless reading for exams and boards and cases, along with thousands of hours in clinic, a lot of good days and some really bad days and that fear from before turned into vigilance.

    There’s no room for ego in Anesthesia but I see the unbelievably hard work that my colleagues put in every day and I am so proud to be in this field. I have been blessed with greatest attending Anesthesiologists, Anesthesia Residents, CRNAs and SRNAs, as well as all of the amazing AAs, who taught me by example that what we do is not about us, it’s about our patients. We are so quick to react to the politics and the social media distractions without taking time to look at the bigger picture.
    Whether you’re titrating an anesthetic in the OR, resuscitating in Trauma, or managing Critical Care patients in the ICU, we are all trained to treat the patient’s whole clinical picture. We have to assess, utilize our resources quickly and intentionally. We can apply that same thought process among a team of providers. The most valuable resources we have are each other and I am confident that the differences we bring to the Anesthesia profession is the key to providing the highest quality care for our patients.

    Thanks so much Jed and Shirley! You guys rock.

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