April 1, 2013
Volume 77, Number 4
State Beat: Connecticut Board of Education Approves New AA Master’s Program
Jason Hansen, M.S., J.D.
On January 9, 2013, the Connecticut State Board of Education approved by 8-2 the creation of a new Anesthesiologist Assistant Master of Health Science (MHS) program at Quinnipiac University.
The 27-month MHS program will educate qualified individuals to practice on an anesthesia care team under the direction of an anesthesiologist. Upon the new program’s accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs (CAAHEP), students in their last semester will be eligible to take the National Certification Exam developed and administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME).
Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs) are non-physician anesthesia providers who assist anesthesiologists in developing and implementing a patient’s anesthesia care plan. AAs work exclusively within the anesthesia care team environment as described by ASA.
To date, eight accredited AA education programs exist nationwide, with approximately 1,800 AAs practicing in 17 states, the District of Columbia and the Veterans Affairs system. In November 2012, the University of Colorado Board of Regents also approved a new Master of Science in Anesthesiology program within the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
In 2013, AA licensure is anticipated to again be a major legislative issue. State legislatures in several states are now considering introduced legislation on the subject that could allow those states to follow the recent successes in Colorado and Wisconsin. In 2012, legislation was signed into law in Colorado (2012 Colo. Sess. Laws 1051) and Wisconsin
(2011 Wisconsin Act 160) authorizing AAs, who had been practicing under delegatory authority, to obtain licensure.
Jason Hansen, M.S., J.D. is
ASA’s Director of State Affairs.
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