Anaesthesia Associates are highly trained and skilled healthcare professionals who are qualified to administer anaesthesia under the supervision of a medically qualified anaesthetist. The role is relatively new to the UK, but is common practice in Scandinavia, northern Europe and the United States. The Anaesthesia Associate will be a health professional or a university graduate who has undergone a further twenty-seven month programme of postgraduate training, which leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Anaesthetic Practice. Although highly trained and skilled practitioners Anaesthesia Associates are not doctors, they work with Anaesthetists who are specialist doctors. The full curriculum for AA training can be found at here.
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How will the Anaesthesia Associate be involved in your care?
AAs are involved in several ways.
Carrying out your pre-operative assessment for anaesthesia.
Planning your anaesthetic and ensuring it is approved by their supervisor.
Ensuring you are properly prepared for surgery.
Administering and monitoring your anaesthetic throughout your operation.
Assisting your anaesthetist if you have your operation under regional anaesthesia, with or without sedation. With further training and experience the AA may also administer your regional anaesthetic.
Care for you in the time immediately after your operation.
Some Trusts may choose to employ AAs to support doctors in Accident & Emergency departments, Emergency Medicine and Critical Care where their advanced skills will be a benefit to patients, or after post-qualification training to perform certain local/regional anaesthetic techniques.