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Taking the First Step in Your Anesthesia Career

Taking the First Step in Your Anesthesia Career

Anesthesia is a high-growth specialty area that offers exciting career paths for new grads.

Get tips on taking the first step in your anesthesia career.

Anesthesia is a specialty that offers a variety of career paths for new graduates. Once you have completed your education and training in anesthesia, you get to decide which path interests you most, then take the first step in that direction.

Anesthesia care teams are typically formed by physician anesthesiologists and qualified non-physician anesthesia providers, such as Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Below are more details on each of these key roles in anesthesia, along with tips for how to find an anesthesia job, prep for the hiring process, and select the job offer that is right for you.

Types of Anesthesia Roles

  1. Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAAs)

CAAs are specialized physician assistants who complete a four-year college degree with pre-medical coursework and a two-year master’s program in anesthesia. They are an integral part of anesthesia care teams, working under the direction of licensed physician anesthesiologists to deliver direct patient care in areas that cover the entire spectrum of anesthesia delivery.

  1. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

CRNAs are registered nurses who have graduated from an accredited CRNA training program. CRNAs provide anesthesia and related care to all types of surgical and procedural patients, often in collaboration with physician anesthesiologists but also in independent settings. CRNAs are in high demand in the U.S., especially in rural communities, where they represent more than 80% of anesthesia providers. Read more about what factors to consider when looking for a CRNA role.

  1. Physician Anesthesiologists

Physician Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who specialize in the field of anesthesiology and undergo the most extensive education and training of all anesthesia providers. Physician anesthesiologists must complete a pre-medical undergraduate degree, a four-year medical school program, and a four-year anesthesiology residency program.

After finishing residency, physician anesthesiologists are eligible to sit for the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) exam. They can also pursue additional specialty training in areas such as pain management, cardiac anesthesia, pediatric anesthesia, or critical care medicine. Physician anesthesiologists, like all anesthesia specialties, are responsible for managing the safety and well-being of patients under anesthesia before, during, and after surgery.

Locations for Anesthesia Roles

Anesthesia providers can consider employment options in settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Ambulatory surgery centers
  • Private practices
  • Health care clinics
  • Anesthesia management companies

How to Prepare for Anesthesia Job Applications

Set yourself apart from other candidates by preparing for the job application and interview process with some of these steps:

What to Consider When Selecting an Anesthesia Role

As you start job hunting as an anesthesia provider, you will want to define your top priorities in a job. Evaluate the pros and cons of each, and come up with a list of “must-haves” and “nice-to-have” elements in areas including:

  • Schedule
  • Location
  • Work environment
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Professional development and growth opportunities
  • Start date and length of assignment (if locus tenens)

Looking for your ideal job in anesthesia? Contact Radar Healthcare Providers to find open positions across the U.S.


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