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Nurse Anesthetists vs Anesthesiologist Assistants

Certified registerednurse anesthetists (nurse anesthetists) are the only other anesthesia care providers that merit a direct comparison with anesthesiologist assistants.
Nurse Anesthetists vs Anesthesiologist Assistants
There are many similarities between nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologist assistants, but the four main differences are curriculum prerequisites, scope of practice, practice jurisdictions, and governing entities.

First, nurse anesthetist educational programs require specific nursing degree training for admission, while anesthesiologist assistant programs do not specify required undergraduate majors but require some related course work.
Second, anesthesiologist assistants are not allowed to practice in any jurisdiction without the direct supervision of an anesthesiologist, while nurse anesthetists may practice under the supervision of any physician or in collaboration without specific supervision in those states that have chosen to “opt-out” of Medicare reimbursement for such services.
Third, nurse anesthetists practice in every jurisdiction nationwide under a license or its equivalent, while anesthesiologist assistants practice in only 16 jurisdictions, under licensure in 10 of those jurisdictions and under physician delegation in the other 6.
Fourth, nurse anesthetists are always governed by the state’s nursing board, while anesthesiologist assistants are always governed by the state’s medical board.

Types of Anesthesia Providers
The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) identifies potential members of the anesthesia care team:
Anesthesiologist– director of the anesthesia care team – a physician licensed to practice medicine who has successfully completed a training program in anesthesiology accredited by the ACGME, the American Osteopathic Association or equivalent organizations.
Nurse Anesthetist – a registered nurse who has satisfactorily completed an accredited nurse anesthesia training program.
Anesthesiologist Assistant – a health professional who has satisfactorily completed an accredited anesthesiologist assistant training program.
The federal government and the ASA consider direct anesthesia care to be permissible only when administered by an anesthesiologist, an anesthesiologist assistant, or a nurse anesthetist.

Support personnel whose efforts deal with technical expertise, supply and maintenance:
Anesthesia Technologists And Technicians, Anesthesia Aides, Blood Gas Technicians, Respiratory Technicians, Monitoring Technicians.