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CNA Nursing Careers: Guide to Anesthesiology

Anesthesiologists and Nurse Anesthetists are some of the highest paid jobs in Oklahoma, and the entire nation.

If you’re an ambitious Certified Nurses Assistant (CNA), this simple certification could be a stepping stone in the lucrative field of anesthesiology—with proper training from the best CNA classes in Tulsa that is.

So how can you go from nurse's aide to a career in one of the most coveted specialties in healthcare?

Here’s everything you need to know about how to get into anesthesiology.

What Does An Anesthesiologist Do?

Anesthesiology is the professional medical practice of anesthesia. The job of an anesthesiologist is to care for a patient before, during, and after surgery. They also create a sedation and pain management plan for each individual patient.

An anesthesiologist will meet with the patient before surgery to assess the patient’s unique health situation. They will consider the type of surgery the patient is undergoing to determine the best plan of action.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the things anesthesiologists are responsible for:

  • Supervision of medication administration

  • Sedation

  • Regional anesthesia

  • Monitoring bodily functions (like body temperature, heart rate, and rhythm and blood pressure) before, during, and after surgery

  • Pain management

  • Level of unconsciousness during surgery

Anesthesiologists are among the highest-paid in the industry. Depending on where you look (Indeed jobs,, Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc.) the average national salary is anywhere from $180,000 to $300,000 per year. Demand for anesthesiology professionals, like most careers in healthcare, is growing. Demand for anesthesiology professionals is expected to grow about 4% between 2020 and 2029, which is about the average demand growth rate.

Sanitizing equipment and assisting the patient’s care team is the primary role of an Anesthesia Technician (A.T.) and an Anesthesia Technologist (A.T.T). Both of these careers are accessible with HealthPRO CNA classes in Tulsa.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Anesthesiologist as a CNA?

Now, we’re not saying that becoming a CNA will directly lead to earning a six-figure salary. Nothing is impossible, but nothing in nursing comes easy. If your goal as a CNA is to become an anesthesiologist you'll need many certifications and degrees.

But, you don’t have to be an anesthesiologist to work in the field of anesthesiology. There are a few other, more accessible career options.

Anesthesia Technician (A.T.)

In Oklahoma, all you need to become an Anesthesia Technician is a high school diploma. But, most job postings ask applicants to have experience or training in a surgery department or hospital. You'll also need a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification for most Anesthesia Technician jobs.

Joining the CNA community and getting a job at a local hospital is competitive. But, it’s the best work environment for getting into anesthesiology. If you earn your CNA you can work in other professional settings, like a skilled nursing facility, to gain experience and apply for hospital jobs Once you get into a hospital you can network, get even more experience, and be the first to know about Anesthesia Technician opportunities.

An Anesthesia Technician's primary job is to support anesthesiologists, their assistants, and nurse practitioners. They do this by managing, testing, sterilizing, and servicing their equipment. They're also usually responsible for transporting patients.

If your goal is to keep moving-up the anesthesiology ladder, you can formalize your position by becoming a Certified Anesthesia Technician (Cer.A.T.). You earn this by completing and passing an exam by The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists & Technicians (ASATT). You may also need more formal training or educational experience. But this will vary depending on the hospital you work at.

Anesthesia Technologist (A.T.T)

An Anesthesia Technologist is a step-up from an Anesthesia Technician. Technologists have a lot of the same duties as Technicians, but more responsibility.

The biggest difference you’ll notice is more work in surgical procedures and a stronger presence in the patient care team.

You’ll also need more education and experience to become an Anesthesia Technologist. You'll likely need an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) or an Associate Degree with a certificate in anesthesia technology (Cer.A.T.T.). If you start as an Anesthesia Technician and earn your certification you’re on the fast-track to becoming a Certified Anesthesia Technologist.

Becoming an Anesthesia Technologist is beneficial for advancing your career and your salary. The average Anesthesia Technologist earns roughly $10,000 more annually (salary in the $50,000 range) than an Anesthesia Technician (salary in the $40,000 range). According to the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians, 96% of those certified in anesthesia technology are employed.

Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Anesthesiologist Assistants (AA) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) are next in the hierarchy.

You must earn graduate-level education to become either a CRNA or an AA. A CRNA is able to practice independently or under the direction of physicians. An AA cannot operate independently and can only work under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

After you earn your master’s you’ll need to also need on-the-job training. Then you'll need licensing and certification by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA).

It’s a lot of work to become an AA or CRNA. But, the salary is about three times as much as a Cer.A.T.T.

 Monitoring the vital signs of patients before, during and after surgery is a key job for any Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Certified Nursing Assistant training can be a first step towards this health care career trajectory.

CNA Training Tulsa

This guide aims to show you the clearest pathways to becoming specialized in anesthesiology as a CNA. But these are certainly not the only ways to enter the field or climb the career ladder.

Regardless if you’re happy working as a CNA or want to work your way to the top, two weeks with Healthpro CNA Academy can be the first step in changing your life.

Are you ready to stop searching for “jobs hiring near me”? Are you ready for more options?

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