Anesthesiologist Assistants Program

About the Profession

Anesthesiologist Assistants: Over 35 years of caring for patients.

Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs), also known as an anesthetist, are highly educated and skilled allied health professionals who work under the supervision of physician anesthesiologists to develop and implement anesthesia care plans. AAs work exclusively within the anesthesia care team environment as described by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA). They possess a premedical background, a baccalaureate degree, and also complete a comprehensive didactic and clinical program at the graduate school level. AAs are trained extensively in the delivery and maintenance of quality anesthesia care as well as advanced patient-monitoring techniques. The goal of Anesthesiologist Assistant education is to nurture the transformation of qualified student applicants into competent health care practitioners who aspire to practice in the anesthesia care team.

In the 1960s, three anesthesiologists were concerned with the shortage of anesthesiologists in the country. After studying the educational pathway for anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists (NAs), they created a new educational paradigm for a mid-level practitioner that included a pre-med background in college. This person would perform the same job as the NA but would be readily able to go on to medical school if appropriate. This new professional, the anesthesiologist assistant, thus had the potential to alleviate the shortage of that was in occurring in anesthesia. The concept became reality in 1969 when the first AA training program began accepting students at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, followed shortly thereafter by a second program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2004, South University of Savannah, Georgia along with a consortium with Mercer University, accepted its first class. In June 2009, Nova Southeastern University accepted its first class of anesthesiologist assistants to its state-of-the-art facilities in Tampa, Florida.

Our Mission

The mission of the Anesthesiologists Assistant program is to prepare students for lifelong learning and leadership roles that will benefit the healthcare community. The educational process will be committed to training and educating competent anesthetists who will embrace the anesthesia care team to provide safe, quality, and compassionate anesthesia care of all degrees of illness for the surgical patient.

Our Vision

The Anesthesiologist Assistant program of Nova Southeastern University provides state-of-the-art educational facilities and environment that allows the AA student to cultivate into health care providers who are driven by compassion and guided by science, to provide the best and safest patient care. The Program aspires to be locally, nationally, and internationally recognized as an authority and primary source for anesthesiologist assistant information and services related to promoting the practice of delivering safe and quality care. The faculty and students of the Program will be recognized as leaders within the profession through our collective service to the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants and other professional organizations.