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What is an Anesthesiology Assistant?

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An Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) is a skilled person qualified by advanced academic and clinical education to provide anesthetic care under the direction of a qualified anesthesiologist. The anesthesiologist who is responsible for the AA is available to prescribe and direct particular therapeutic interventions in the operating room and the intensive care setting.

By virtue of the basic science education and clinical practice experience, the AA is skilled in the use of contemporary state-of-the-art patient monitoring techniques in anesthesia care environments. The AA performs complementary and supplementary anesthetic care and monitoring tasks that allow the directing anesthesiologist to use his or her own skills more efficiently and effectively.

The Anesthesiologist Assistant is prepared to gather patient data, to assist in the evaluation of patients’ physical and mental status, to record the surgical procedures planned, and to help the directing anesthesiologist administer the therapeutic plan that has been formulated for the anesthetic care of the patient. The tasks performed by AAs reflect regional variations in anesthesia practice and state regulatory factors.

AA's can practice only in certain states.  More information about licensure and delegated authority can be found here.

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There are currently 12 AA programs in the US.