Legislature should license anesthesiologist assistants

by Sidney Sanford and Joey Parrish

Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants are highly trained and educated health care providers who are currently practicing in seventeen jurisdictions across the U.S. and within the Veterans Administration system. Presently, there is no licensure category for Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants in Nevada. Only the Nevada Legislature can make it happen, through the passage of SB210.

We care because we are native Nevadans who are presently Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) students at Nova Southeastern University. After completing our Masters of Science in Anesthesia, we would like to come home and use our education and training to provide much-needed health care services to our fellow Nevadans.

After completing a 4-year Bachelor’s Degree in Science, AA’s undertake a rigorous program which ranges from twenty-four to twenty-eight months (depending on the school). Prior to admission to AA school, we are required to take all the pre-med pre-requisite courses and take the same standardized tests that are required to get into medical school.

In the Nova AA program, before clinical training begins, we take more than seventy credits of didactics and lab training. While in the program, we work more than 2,000 hours at medical facilities throughout the country. During our required training, we administer anesthesia for many types of surgeries including kidney and liver transplants, craniotomies, trauma, and open-heart surgeries.

We are currently training at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, NV and will be graduating soon. Although we have received job offers from several states where AAs are licensed to practice, we would much rather return to Nevada.

We urge Nevada legislators to consider the facts, our education, and our training experience and grant us the opportunity to practice in Nevada where the health care provider to population per capita is among the lowest in the nation.  


Featured photo “Operating Room” by VCU Libraries is licensed under CC BY 2.0