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Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) questions

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jwk

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Can I have someone with some maturity respond? There should be a way to filter imbeciles.

Same questions stand, thanks

Retake the exams if you want, WORK in a health care setting of some sort instead of just volunteering or shadowing, and grow a thicker skin. Really.
 

DrHoosier

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I've been looking at AA as an option lately, but I haven't been able to find any info on GPA's, MCAT scores, etc. that are required to get into AA school. Any one know where I can get this info?
 

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I've been looking at AA as an option lately, but I haven't been able to find any info on GPA's, MCAT scores, etc. that are required to get into AA school. Any one know where I can get this info?

The Emory and case aa program sites have all that info.
 

bwbrown

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this is an information blog...any question is valid, and not "hand-holding". Is there a reason why you're on here? seems like you have nothing good to say...must be pretty unsuccessful, hence why I'd like mature people to respond
 

jwk

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this is an information blog...any question is valid, and not "hand-holding". Is there a reason why you're on here? seems like you have nothing good to say...must be pretty unsuccessful, hence why I'd like mature people to respond

Ok - here's a mature person responding - if you can't find this information by doing a simple Google search (there are only 7 AA programs to look for), then you probably aren't going to have what it takes to get through one of those programs, much less make it into practice. Self-direction, motivation, eagerness - all good qualities that we look for. Whining, name-calling, and demanding that someone provide you with information that you're too lazy to get yourself will NOT get you in AA school.

Simple enough for you? Grow up.
 

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Does anyone know when the UMKC AA program will start interviews?
 

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grow up? I have done my research, and also join this NETWORK to interact with people with experience FOR ADVICE, which is exactly the whole point of this blog. No reason why anyone should get criticized for asking question that AREN'T answered on any of the program websites. I simply asking for suggestions as to which areas would be considered the best places to shadow. OPINIONS, not hand holding. Nowhere was there whining, but its a joke to see the comments from facetguy as well as yourself. What reason does it serve to be on a blog called "AA QUESTIONS" if you're just going to be on a highhorse. Who wouldn't ask these questions, and try to find several sources before bugging doctor's about shadowing. Simple enough for you?
 

takethecannoli3

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I have a question-- when shadowing an anesthesiologist, what kind of documentation should one keep to apply to AA programs? i guess i'm wondering if there are specific forms that need to be filled out by the anesthesiologist or myself, or do the anesthesiologists usually just write a recommendation letter at the end of your shadowing time?
sorry if this has been asked before... i just recently started looking in to the program. :oops:
 

Endee

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I have a question-- when shadowing an anesthesiologist, what kind of documentation should one keep to apply to AA programs? i guess i'm wondering if there are specific forms that need to be filled out by the anesthesiologist or myself, or do the anesthesiologists usually just write a recommendation letter at the end of your shadowing time?
sorry if this has been asked before... i just recently started looking in to the program. :oops:

My program had a preprinted form that you fill out for your shadowing experiences, describing when/where/with who, with signatures and comments, etc. You don't have to have a LOR from an anesthesiologist, necessarily. Contact each program to see what they require.
 
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My program had a preprinted form that you fill out for your shadowing experiences, describing when/where/with who, with signatures and comments, etc. You don't have to have a LOR from an anesthesiologist, necessarily. Contact each program to see what they require.


Have you found sufficient employment in your state ( or surrounding states )?

My friend who is a 4th year Anesthesia resident told me to look into the program though he claims he has never personally worked with an A.A. in our state.
 
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jwk

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Have you found sufficient employment in your state ( or surrounding states )?

My friend who is a 4th year Anesthesia resident told me to look into the program though he claims he has never personally worked with an A.A. in our state.

I don't know what state you're in or want to work in.

However - AA's have virtually 100% job placement upon graduation. Like any other job, it may not be their first choice, but they all have jobs.
 
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I don't know what state you're in or want to work in.

However - AA's have virtually 100% job placement upon graduation. Like any other job, it may not be their first choice, but they all have jobs.

I live in Maine. It doesn't seem as though there are any AA schools locally, and I dont believe they can actually work in Maine as of yet... Any links you could give me to AA programs? Also, I'm an RRT so the idea of AA interests me A LOT!
 

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I'm from your neck of the woods and I am in AA school now. You could potentially work in NH or VT or maybe at one of the VA hospitals in ME. You would have to move south for at least the didactic portion of the program because some schools will let you do your clinical rotations at hospitals all over. So, you may be able to get back to New England after a year and a half and you may also be able land a job there. One caveat, most of the jobs are in the south.

I live in Maine. It doesn't seem as though there are any AA schools locally, and I dont believe they can actually work in Maine as of yet... Any links you could give me to AA programs? Also, I'm an RRT so the idea of AA interests me A LOT!
 

HenryH

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I'm from your neck of the woods and I am in AA school now. You could potentially work in NH or VT or maybe at one of the VA hospitals in ME. You would have to move south for at least the didactic portion of the program because some schools will let you do your clinical rotations at hospitals all over. So, you may be able to get back to New England after a year and a half and you may also be able land a job there. One caveat, most of the jobs are in the south.

This is something that has me concerned. How much longer can graduating classes of AA's be pumped out before hospitals and anesthesia practices in the south are saturated with them? Also, it seems like many practices, when hiring anesthetists, only want to hire so many AA's and then fill the rest of their openings with CRNA's so that they can have a certain number of anesthetists who are capable of taking call at night (without an anesthesiologist present), etc.

In fact, there were 3 jobs formerly posted on Gaswork.com for my town (in Georgia), and I emailed the individuals listed as contacts for each of them and inquired as to whether they would consider hiring an AA, and all 3 recruiters responded and stated that the practices were specifically looking to hire CRNA's only. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident, but it sounds like cities in the south (or mine, at least) are starting to reach the point that they've hired as many AA's as they need and are now primarily seeking to hire CRNA's whenever they have a need for anesthetists.
 

jwk

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This is something that has me concerned. How much longer can graduating classes of AA's be pumped out before hospitals and anesthesia practices in the south are saturated with them? Also, it seems like many practices, when hiring anesthetists, only want to hire so many AA's and then fill the rest of their openings with CRNA's so that they can have a certain number of anesthetists who are capable of taking call at night (without an anesthesiologist present), etc.

In fact, there were 3 jobs formerly posted on Gaswork.com for my town (in Georgia), and I emailed the individuals listed as contacts for each of them and inquired as to whether they would consider hiring an AA, and all 3 recruiters responded and stated that the practices were specifically looking to hire CRNA's only. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident, but it sounds like cities in the south (or mine, at least) are starting to reach the point that they've hired as many AA's as they need and are now primarily seeking to hire CRNA's whenever they have a need for anesthetists.

AA's are also in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, Washington DC, and about 11 other states.

You HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE in this current economy, and this applies to virtually any career, not just anesthesia. Supply and demand rule - the supply really isn't out of whack, but the demand side is down because of the economy. Things will turn around - the population is growing, the number of older Americans requiring surgery is mushrooming, and someone has to take care of all those people. In about 12 years, when I retire after 40 years in the profession, one of you can have my slot. ;)
 

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It is not a question of saturation. There are only a handful of AAs compared with CRNAs at this point. In my program every student has multiple job offers before graduation so I think the prospects are pretty good. If you are limiting your job prospects to a single city you are pigeonholing yourself careerwise whether you are an AA, CRNA, or are in any other profession.


This is something that has me concerned. How much longer can graduating classes of AA's be pumped out before hospitals and anesthesia practices in the south are saturated with them? Also, it seems like many practices, when hiring anesthetists, only want to hire so many AA's and then fill the rest of their openings with CRNA's so that they can have a certain number of anesthetists who are capable of taking call at night (without an anesthesiologist present), etc.

In fact, there were 3 jobs formerly posted on Gaswork.com for my town (in Georgia), and I emailed the individuals listed as contacts for each of them and inquired as to whether they would consider hiring an AA, and all 3 recruiters responded and stated that the practices were specifically looking to hire CRNA's only. Hopefully this is just an isolated incident, but it sounds like cities in the south (or mine, at least) are starting to reach the point that they've hired as many AA's as they need and are now primarily seeking to hire CRNA's whenever they have a need for anesthetists.
 
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It is not a question of saturation. There are only a handful of AAs compared with CRNAs at this point. In my program every student has multiple job offers before graduation so I think the prospects are pretty good. If you are limiting your job prospects to a single city you are pigeonholing yourself careerwise whether you are an AA, CRNA, or are in any other profession.


So is it true that an AA can not function without an Anesthesiologist like that post mentioned? That seems odd, as Ive seen plenty of PAs operating independent of a Physician
 

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jwk and AegriSomnia, thanks for your input. So would you say that due to unfavorable economic conditions, employment opportunities in the south (Georgia, Alabama primarily) are becoming scarce? Or are there just too many programs in Florida that are flooding the markets in nearby states with graduates? Or is there not actually a saturation issue in the south at all?

This may sound ridiculous, but I really want to avoid having to move up north... I have lived in the south all my life and LOVE warmer weather. Conversely, I hate cold, dry weather that makes engaging in outdoorsy activities unbearable. So in your opinion, would you say that employment opportunities will become more plentiful in the south as the economy improves?
 

Endee

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jwk and AegriSomnia, thanks for your input. So would you say that due to unfavorable economic conditions, employment opportunities in the south (Georgia, Alabama primarily) are becoming scarce? Or are there just too many programs in Florida that are flooding the markets in nearby states with graduates? Or is there not actually a saturation issue in the south at all?

This may sound ridiculous, but I really want to avoid having to move up north... I have lived in the south all my life and LOVE warmer weather. Conversely, I hate cold, dry weather that makes engaging in outdoorsy activities unbearable. So in your opinion, would you say that employment opportunities will become more plentiful in the south as the economy improves?

Nova Ft Lauderdale has only been around for a few years. Nova Tampa just started, it hasn't even graduated its first class yet. Don't blame us! :)
 

HenryH

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Nova Ft Lauderdale has only been around for a few years. Nova Tampa just started, it hasn't even graduated its first class yet. Don't blame us! :)

LOL, sorry for being so general... I was actually referring to the CRNA programs (including numerous satellite programs) throughout Florida. :)
 
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Endee

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LOL, sorry for being so general... I was actually referring to the CRNA programs (including numerous satellite programs) throughout Florida. :)

Oh, ok. Well, I don't think fear of saturation should stop anyone from pursuing this career. The opportunity cost is relatively low. The market isn't likely to change in the short term (<3 years).
 

jwk

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jwk and AegriSomnia, thanks for your input. So would you say that due to unfavorable economic conditions, employment opportunities in the south (Georgia, Alabama primarily) are becoming scarce? Or are there just too many programs in Florida that are flooding the markets in nearby states with graduates? Or is there not actually a saturation issue in the south at all?

This may sound ridiculous, but I really want to avoid having to move up north... I have lived in the south all my life and LOVE warmer weather. Conversely, I hate cold, dry weather that makes engaging in outdoorsy activities unbearable. So in your opinion, would you say that employment opportunities will become more plentiful in the south as the economy improves?

The jobs are there, ya just gotta hunt for them (beyond Columbus ;) ). There are still jobs in Atlanta (my group has four people coming this fall after graduation), and some of the smaller cities most certainly have positions (think Savannah, Macon, Albany, etc.) Remember, gaswork is not THE source for all things related to anesthesia jobs.
 

jwk

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So is it true that an AA can not function without an Anesthesiologist like that post mentioned? That seems odd, as Ive seen plenty of PAs operating independent of a Physician

AA's function within the anesthesia care team mode of practice which is headed by an anesthesiologist. The level of supervision/direction varies tremendously from practice to practice and state to state, but the anesthesiologist is always around where AA's are practicing. AA's do not practice independently (think small town hospitals, surgery centers, dental or podiatry offices), but we do have a surprising amount of autonomy within our practice, regardless of what you might hear from the CRNA's.
 

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The jobs are there, ya just gotta hunt for them (beyond Columbus ;) ). There are still jobs in Atlanta (my group has four people coming this fall after graduation), and some of the smaller cities most certainly have positions (think Savannah, Macon, Albany, etc.) Remember, gaswork is not THE source for all things related to anesthesia jobs.

Thanks for the info. Just out of curiosity... do you know of any cities in Georgia where the jobs are essentially all taken?
 

jwk

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Thanks for the info. Just out of curiosity... do you know of any cities in Georgia where the jobs are essentially all taken?

;) I have a job - I have no reason to go looking for one at this point in my career, so I don't really pay attention to where the jobs are, or aren't.
 

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Anyone have any grapevine news on how Texas is coming along in allowing AAs to practice?
 

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absolutley 100% accurate, no anesthesiologist, no AA

I find that very interesting.

Does this mean that a CRNA can work without an anesthesiologist present?

It may just be my imagination, but I looked at the curriculum for the CRNA program in CA and the AA program in Emory, and the AA program certainly looks much more robust / difficult than the CRNA. Then again, this is coming from a non-healthcare perspective.
 
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jwk

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It says that they are currently seeking accreditation. So if they don't get it by the time the next class graduates in 2012, are those grads crap out of luck?

Won't be a problem - the Texas program is a satellite of the long-established Case Western AA program.
 

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Won't be a problem - the Texas program is a satellite of the long-established Case Western AA program.

Looks very attractive with a potential 120K in 2 years. Gaswork listings for AA jobs look a bit slim, with nothing in TX, but I assume there are other sites for AA jobs.
 

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Any idea on what the next 2-3 States will be to allow AAs?

I don't expect California to be on that list anytime soon... I find the AA path more attractive than the CRNA path, but alas, I live in CA.
 

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Any idea on what the next 2-3 States will be to allow AAs?

I don't expect California to be on that list anytime soon... I find the AA path more attractive than the CRNA path, but alas, I live in CA.

That's just the thing. Some people may have faith that Case W. will "soon" get accredited in TX, but I'm not going to be banging down their doors, handing them 40K/year, and holding my breath on it. Let's see how the class of 2012--all 17 of them do. If they all come out landing 120-130K jobs IN Texas upon graduation then there might be something to it.
 

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I don't blame you.

Given how strong the nurses union is in California, I doubt we'll see AAs here in my lifetime...
 

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The program literally just opened and Case is one of the original AA programs. They will have accreditation.

That's just the thing. Some people may have faith that Case W. will "soon" get accredited in TX, but I'm not going to be banging down their doors, handing them 40K/year, and holding my breath on it. Let's see how the class of 2012--all 17 of them do. If they all come out landing 120-130K jobs IN Texas upon graduation then there might be something to it.
 

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From what I understand is that it is very competitive for CRNAs to get jobs in CA as well and that the average pay for them in that state is less than in other states.

Any idea on what the next 2-3 States will be to allow AAs?

I don't expect California to be on that list anytime soon... I find the AA path more attractive than the CRNA path, but alas, I live in CA.
 

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you could take the above statement and replace AA with PA and CRNA with NP.

"So then, why do we have PAs when there are more than enough people applying to NP programs?? Is one supposed to take over the other or are they just going to forever compete against each other?"

im not tryin to argue with you, but i hope you see what im saying. plus competition is not necessarily a bad thing. :D

i believe nurses are not the only ones who are capable of being competent non-MD anesthesia providers. i know CRNAs have proven themselves, yet i dont think i should have to go to nursing school just to pass gas in the future. AA is thus an option for someone like me."

RT is a great background for AA or PA....also after getting your PA there is now a PA to AA bridge if you are feeling really motivated.....I know a few....also a few NP/CRNA folks....either way, a powerhouse combo as you can work outside the o.r. and cover pain clinic, icu, etc

Sorry to quote such an old post, but I am randomly curious about something. Would a practitioner holding dual AA/NP degrees hold the same priveleges as one holding dual AA/PA degrees? Or is there only an advantage to having the AA/PA degrees?
 

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NPs are usually restricted to whatever specialty they trained in and they don't have anesthesia training as there are CRNAs. This would restrict NPs from doing this. PAs can move between specialties and can do anesthesia but cannot be reimbursed for it. So, in states where AAs can't work having a licenses as both a PA and AA allow you to work (the PA license) and to bill (AA license.)

Sorry to quote such an old post, but I am randomly curious about something. Would a practitioner holding dual AA/NP degrees hold the same priveleges as one holding dual AA/PA degrees? Or is there only an advantage to having the AA/PA degrees?
 

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From what I understand is that it is very competitive for CRNAs to get jobs in CA as well and that the average pay for them in that state is less than in other states.

Just did a quick search...I'll have to do some CRNA specific digging, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CA Nurses are the highest paid across all states.

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/may/wk2/art05.htm

Do you have any data that you can share on CRNA pay by state?
 

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CRNAs are very different from RNs. I had a conversation with some CRNAs about this and they told me that it is harder to land a job in CA and since there are people wanting to work there salaries are lower. Obviously this information is anecdotal and may not be completely accurate. Just what I understand of the situation.

Just did a quick search...I'll have to do some CRNA specific digging, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CA Nurses are the highest paid across all states.

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/may/wk2/art05.htm

Do you have any data that you can share on CRNA pay by state?
 

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I always wonder about things like that....

What are the top 10 best paying states or cities for AA?

What are the top 10 best paying states or cities for PA?

What are the top 10 best paying states or cities for CRNA?

Best states to work for AA
Best states to work for PA

etc.
 

HenryH

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NPs are usually restricted to whatever specialty they trained in and they don't have anesthesia training as there are CRNAs. This would restrict NPs from doing this. PAs can move between specialties and can do anesthesia but cannot be reimbursed for it. So, in states where AAs can't work having a licenses as both a PA and AA allow you to work (the PA license) and to bill (AA license.)


Thanks for the info. Is there any advantage to having dual AA and PA degrees and working in a state where AA's are allowed to practice?
 

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NPs are usually restricted to whatever specialty they trained in and they don't have anesthesia training as there are CRNAs. This would restrict NPs from doing this. PAs can move between specialties and can do anesthesia but cannot be reimbursed for it. So, in states where AAs can't work having a licenses as both a PA and AA allow you to work (the PA license) and to bill (AA license.)



Thanks for the info. Is there any advantage to having dual AA and PA degrees and working in a state where AA's are allowed to practice?
We have a couple that do critical care and anesthesia. It allows you to work outside the OR.

David Carpenter, PA-C
 
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