Anesthesia Technicians at Vanderbilt University Medical Center contribute to safe, efficient and cost-effective anesthesia care by assisting the anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists by obtaining the supplies and equipment required for anesthesia administration in more than 60 locations on the main campus, as well as providing support to outpatient surgery centers off campus. These surgical procedures vary in degree of complexity and cross over the continuum of the patient population.
The duties of anesthesia technicians include equipment maintenance and servicing, such as cleaning, sterilizing, assembling, calibrating and testing. Additionally, they troubleshoot equipment problems and maintain quality assurance records, as well as operate a variety of mechanical, pneumatic and electronic equipment used to monitor, evaluate and manage the patient undergoing anesthesia.
As the level of the technician’s training, experience and knowledge increases, they provide closer intraoperative support to the anesthesia provider and familiarity with the additional technology and difficulties associated with anesthesia for patients at high risk. To assist the technician with gaining additional knowledge, the Vanderbilt Anesthesiology Department offers structured classroom lectures to train technicians in a non-distracting clinical setting.
The anesthesia technician, the certified anesthesia technician and the certified anesthesia technologist cover areas related to the following adult and pediatric services: neurosurgery; plastics; urology; ophthalmology; vascular; trauma; cardiothoracic; general surgery; orthopedics; OB/GYN and ENT. They also provide support for special procedures in the radiology department that include MRI, PET scan, radiation oncology, GI Lab, CT Scan, nuclear medicine and the cardiac catheterization lab.
The certified anesthesia technician or technologist has passed the national examination requirements established by the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT). The ASATT is a member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA), a nationally recognized organization that establishes compelling standards for credentialing examination programs.
The Vanderbilt certified anesthesia technician or technologist has been approved by the state of Tennessee to perform point-of-care testing that includes the thromboelastograph and arterial blood gases. The certified anesthesia technician/technologist is also a member of the transplant service and is expected to take call.