Anesthesia technology is a distinct health profession that focuses on the necessary clinical procedures that assist the anesthesia provider in the safe and efficient care of patients. These professionals are vital members of the overall anesthesia care team, applying, acquiring, preparing, and troubleshooting the various types of equipment required for the delivery of anesthesia care. In honor of Anesthesia Tech and CVMT Appreciation Week 2021, we wanted to showcase an inside look into the life of another one of our highly skilled team members. We spoke with Stephen Edgett, CerATT, about his experience and success as a senior anesthesia technician with our Idaho Team.
How would you describe the work of an anesthesia technician?
An anesthesia technician becomes an expert at anticipating needs. We assist with all aspects of anesthesia: intubation, extubation, patient positioning, surgical prep, arterial lines, central lines, blocks, spinals, epidurals, ordering supplies, maintaining anesthesia machines and equipment, troubleshooting machines and equipment, and stocking all supplies in workrooms, operating rooms, and various carts around the hospital and surgery center.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
We start our day turning on and calibrating anesthesia machines and stocking all the operating rooms. We run two facilities in which we have 10 operating rooms, two endoscopy suites, and a cath lab. We make sure the Anesthesia machines are set to go for the day, sometimes troubleshooting issues or swapping out machines due to issues. We then stock all the carts for the day; we have 10 carts between the two facilities that we maintain.
Once cases start, we try to assist with every intubation. We are the experts when it comes to supplies and needs when an emergency arises during intubation, so we feel it is important to be there in case it doesn’t go as planned. We then will help with patient positioning, and surgical prep. In between cases, we are assisting with blocks, spinals, arterial lines, and central lines. We also order, receive, and stock all of our anesthesia supplies. When cases are done, we will assist with extubation, clean the OR, and restock supplies so it is ready for the next cases.
At the end of the day, we make sure everything is stocked for call cases, and we stock our anesthesia room and carts. We will set up certain things the next day, like IV kits for pediatric cases.
What kind of training is required for your position?
Most of our training is on-the-job training. We have the trainee shadow someone for several weeks, learning the in’s and out’s of anesthesia. Learning all the supplies and what they do can be a daunting task and takes a while to learn. They learn individual anesthetists’ needs, how to set up and assist with various procedures, and eventually learn how to anticipate what is needed for all the different procedures we are involved in. We are also able to do Cell Saver, so we send our anesthesia techs to SpecialtyCare University to learn how to do this procedure.
What made you decide to work in the healthcare field?
We really enjoy working with patients and being a big part of the process to improve lives. We enjoy the diversity of healthcare. There are so many different procedures that make healthcare fascinating. We also like the prospect of job security because there will always be a need for healthcare. There is always something new to learn, and there are many avenues we can explore if we seem to get bored in our current position.
What has been the most rewarding part of your position so far?
We take great joy in going above and beyond what a typical anesthesia technician does. It’s very rewarding to hear our providers recognize our hard work. We also take great pride in being able to anticipate needs and having everything ready before it is requested. We are the experts in knowing what is needed and where things are, and we work very closely with our providers to know what each of them individually needs.
What challenges do you face during a typical day in your job?
We are constantly pulled in many directions all the time. The most difficult challenge is prioritizing and communicating. We are depended on, and we have so much to do that we can’t make it to everything. We have to communicate when conflicts arise so the OR staff knows they will need to help us a little. Usually, that equates to having them clean and turn our anesthesia machines and carts so they are ready for the next case. We make sure to have everything stocked very well so that on busy days when we can’t make it to some of the turnovers, supplies should last several cases before we would have to restock.
Learn More About SpecialtyCare’s Anesthesia Technology Careers
SpecialtyCare’s Anesthesia Technicians develop specific expertise through training that allows them to provide support to the anesthesia team during surgery by preparing the environment and assisting with equipment and supplies throughout the procedure. We celebrate their significant contribution to healthcare and encourage those interested in the career to reach out for more information.
Tuition and student loan payment assistance, paid professional membership fees, and continuing education funds are just a few of the many benefits SpecialtyCare offers its employees. We value the individual gifts and expertise that our clinicians and technicians bring to the table, and we provide unique jobs in locations around the country. If you’re interested in a healthcare career with us in Las Vegas, Nevada, or anywhere else across the country, visit our Careers Search Page and contact us today!
Want to save lives and be the heart of the operation? Work as an Anesthesia Technician with SpecialtyCare and view our jobs.