Anesthesiologist Assistants

The Importance of Anesthesiologist Assistants

Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAAs) have been part of the medical practice of anesthesiology for over 60 years in a role analogous to physician assistants in non-anesthesia settings and currently practice in 22 jurisdictions.

CAAs are highly skilled health professionals who work under the direction of licensed Physician Anesthesiologists, and only anesthesiologists, to implement anesthesia care plans.

The addition of CAAs to the care team will help ensure the safety and well-being of Arizona’s patients, as well as improve healthcare access by allowing for additional qualified healthcare providers in Arizona’s medical facilities.

The Impact on Arizona:

Population Growth:
As Arizona’s population continues to increase and age, more healthcare providers will be needed to provide care.
Anesthesia Care Team Model:
Nationally and in Arizona, anesthesiology practice is moving toward the Anesthesia Care Team model. Several states utilize this more efficient model to allow Physician Anesthesiologists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and CAAs to work side-by-side to provide safe, effective, and high-quality delivery of anesthesia to patients.
State Practice:

Currently, Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants are NOT able to practice in Arizona but approximately 50 certified professionals have expressed interest in returning to Arizona should the State authorize their ability to practice.

Arizona has approximately 140 open positions for non-physician anesthesia services (Nurse Anesthetists), and approximately 70 open positions for Physician Anesthesiologists. Allowing CAAs to practice in Arizona would assist with filling these gaps.
The creation of a CAA license does not require significant investment from the State and is a cost-effective approach to expanding Arizona’s healthcare workforce and would continue Arizona’s efforts to break down barriers for individuals to work in our State.

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Paid for by the Arizona Medical Association and the American Medical Association’s Scope of Practice Partnership.