Anesthesia Technologist Certification
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Want to have proof that you have strong anesthesia technologist skills? In addition to just being a solid and effective worker on the job, taking an exam and becoming certified is an important step in advancing one’s career.
According to the American Society of Anesthesiology Technologists and Technicians (ASATT), an international organization, there are several benefits derived from anesthesia technician certification or technologist certification—the two certifications offered through the organization.
The first benefit is that certification provides formal recognition to anesthesiology technologists. Another reason is that certification encourages personal and professional growth in the field. Finally, anesthesia tech certification also establishes a national standard of knowledge, and, as a result, can allow employers, health professionals and members of the public to have confidence in the skills of their anesthesia technologists.
While two types of certifications were previously available through the ASATT, one for technicians and another for technologists, the anesthesia technician (Cer.A.T.) exam was retired and only the technologist (Cer.A.T.T.) exam remains available. It is important to note that certified technicians are able to keep their certifications as long as they meet the necessary continuing education units (CEUs).
The anesthesia technologist certification exam has been developed and administered in partnership with Scantron, which also reports candidates’ scores. Exams are available by computer at approximately 1,350 testing centers across the United States and also in many 115 countries, including in Canada, China, Egypt, India and Japan.
Requirements for Anesthesia Technologist Certification
To be eligible to sit for the exam to become a certified anesthesia technologist (Cer.A.T.T.), candidates must graduate from an Committee on Accreditation for Anesthesia Technology Education (CoA-ATE) or Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredited program or complete an ASATT approved advancement/recertification program. In addition, the education program must include a clinical experience. A complete list of these approved schools is provided on the ASATT website.
To sit for the Anesthesia Technology NCE exam for Cer.A.T.T. certification, candidates must first submit a completed application. Along with your application, applicants must also submit proof of program completion, a signed transcript of a clinical experience, and exam fees, which are $225 for members and $450 for non-members.
Cer.A.T.T. Certification Exam Preparation
A downloadable handbook is available on the ASATT website to provide students with more information on the Anesthesia Technology NCE exam. This handbook covers various topics, ranging from the application process to the testing process and even special arrangements for people with disabilities. Individuals looking for in-depth information can find extensive information in these handbooks.
Once candidates have submitted their exam applications, they should receive notice of their eligibility within approximately two weeks. This notice is good for 90 days, but if a candidate fails to schedule and take an exam within those 90 days, they lose their exam rights and all application fees. Exams are generally available at test Monday through Friday, with some possible weekend availability depending on the testing site. A list of centers can be found at Scantron.com.
The Anesthesia Technology NCE exam consists of six parts. They are:
- Equipment, instrumentation, and technology
- Basic sciences
- Basic principles of anesthesia
- Advanced principles
- Professional aspects
The ASATT has published a comprehensive list of review texts on its website. These include reference books, general reading, and periodicals.
Should you fail an exam, you can retake it by completing the reapplication form and submitting a fee. However, if you wait 90 days or more, you will need to submit a new application and the full fee. There is no limit to the number of times that you can take an ASATT exam.
Value of ASATT Anesthesia Tech Certification & Specialization
Certification can be important for anesthesia technologists for several reasons. For one, it can allow people to move up the career ladder, particularly when they can show they are already responsible and effective on the job. While you may be able to gain entry-level work without certification, certification can certainly be a statement about your ‘professional’ priorities and indicate that you are so knowledgeable about what you do that you can meet the expected standards for certification.
In fact, employers can now go to the ASATT website to verify certification of individuals and check new certifications of those who have just passed the test. The ASATT’s website allows employers to search for certification status based on a person’s last name and state of residence. When new applicants pass the exam, their information will typically be updated on the website by the 15th of each month.
Local Licensing Boards for Anesthesia Technologists
There is currently no state licensing required to be employed as an anesthesia technologist. However, regulations can change at any time, so aspiring anesthesia technologists should check with their state licensing boards to ensure they have the necessary credentials.
ASATT Recertification of Anesthesia Technologists
ASATT certified anesthesia technologists must recertify every two years. In other words, certifying is not a one-time event but a continuing process requiring renewal. As with the exam fees needed for initial certification, there are also recertifying fees required for the technologist certification, which are $100 for members and $200 for non-members.
Those seeking renewal need to fill out an application and show proof of their continuing education units, which are 30 CEUs to renew at the technologist certification level. The technologist exam handbook reports that one continuing education unit may be granted for every 50 to 60 minute lecture you attend and that CEUs fall into two categories.
These include Category I, which are specific to anesthesia technology, and Category II units, which can be related to various topics, including assertiveness training, computer programing, marketing, stress management, and others. However, only five CEUs can come from Category II.
Members may not need to show proof of their CEUs for ASATT-sponsored events or Sensor quizzes, as these should be in the organization’s database. (A full listing of Sensor quizzes is available on the ASATT’s website. The quizzes are based on content published in The Sensor, the quarterly magazine put out by ASATT for its members).
A FAQs page is also posted on the ASATT website and can provide more details to anyone wanting further information on the renewal process.