Life in the OR: William Edwards, Sr. Anesthesia Tech

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 lives of our highly skilled team members. We spoke with William Edwards, CerATT, about his experience and success as a senior anesthesia technician with our Las Vegas Team.

How would you describe the work of an anesthesia technician? 

An anesthesia technician can best be described as an OR Leatherman; we are indispensable when in use and leave a regretfully naked feeling when absent. Our areas of expertise and responsibilities run a broad spectrum in any environment in which patient care is provided. We are not limited to anesthesia providers or operating rooms. Easily put, we are first in, last out support. 

What does a typical work day look like for you?

Our day-to-day can be very diverse and chaotic at times, but it typically starts well before scheduled cases to ensure anesthesia equipment safety and readiness. OR caseload is examined and anticipated needs for case and patient type are accounted for through invasive line, airway, inventory, and ATS preparation. This can entail everything from Glidescope assistance during difficult intubations to open AAA’s, requiring full invasive line placement and ATS usage with rapid fluid resuscitation. After first case starts are completed, the day tends to unfold in waves of the above while also being available for turnovers, equipment troubleshooting, and staff and physician support. 

What kind of training is required for your position? 

Current required training and education levels vary by allowed scope as the field is evolving. I was fortunate enough to receive my training on the job in clinical environments and through SpecialtyCare’s module education program.

What made you decide to work in the healthcare field? 

Getting involved in healthcare seemed to be eventual as both my parents work in the field. I started as an EMT and found anesthesia and the OR to be a better fit. 

What has been the most rewarding part of your position so far? 

The most rewarding part of our profession is seeing the real impacts we make daily in patient care. Through preventative testing and troubleshooting and anticipating the needs of our providers, we are the first step in ensuring smooth and safe patient care. Anesthesia technicians are primarily a behind the scenes player, and our full scope isn’t appreciated until we’re occupied elsewhere. 

What challenges do you face during a typical day in your job?  

It wouldn’t be a regular day in the life without challenges. The nature of our working environment and scope demands problem solving. While most OR staff only need to worry about one case and one patient at a time, anesthesia technicians worry about the entire OR floor, including patients, providers, and staff. We are called on daily to solve equipment problems, inventory management, and patient care issues. 

What is a recent experience you would like to share?

A recent case that sticks with me involved a patient undergoing a routine hernia repair. Because of the nature of the patient’s airway, the procedure had to be cancelled and rescheduled several times due to unsuccessful intubation attempts. The anesthesiologist assigned to this most recent attempt came together with staffed anesthesia technicians to discuss a game plan. Through utilization of shared experience and a suggestion of equipment not previously used, we were able to assist the physician in securing an airway. This finally allowed the patient to undergo the hernia repair and hopefully resulted in an improvement in their quality of life.  

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.