Online Anesthesiologist Degree Program Information
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who specialize in administering anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery as well as monitoring their health leading up to and after a procedure. Online anesthesiology programs do not exist because they involve rigorous on-the-job training through a hospital residency. Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), who work under the direct supervision of physicians, may receive partial training through distance learning, but again no program is fully online.
Overview of Anesthesiology Residency Programs
After completing four years of post-baccalaureate medical school and a one-year hospital internship, residents may choose to specialize in anesthesiology. On-site clinical training requires three years of residency in a hospital.
Program Information and Requirements
During the three-year residency, doctors learn how to determine an anesthesia plan, administer anesthesia and manage postoperative pain. Training is hands-on, involving rotations in hospitals.
Common Training Units
Clinical education in anesthesiology varies by hospital, as do the subspecialties of the attending physicians. In general, residents assist with more and more complex procedures as they advance in their training and skill-level.
First Year Clinical Training
Fundamental practices are introduced through closely supervised training in the operating room, through simulators and structured rotations. Exposure is given to anesthetic procedures for the various types of surgeries.
Second Year Clinical Training
Advanced procedures for intensive care and critically ill patients are learned through rotations in trauma units.
Third Year Clinical Training
Senior residents assist with complex procedures and practice subspecialties such as pediatric, cardiac, obstetric and transplant anesthesia. Research may begin in the third year if a resident is a candidate for continued training through a fellowship.
Anesthesiologists may choose careers as research scientists, practice general anesthesiology or become a subspecialists, such as neuroanesthesiologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for anesthesiologists was $211,750 in 2009 (www.bls.gov).
Fellowships may be available for anesthesiologists interested in pursuing research careers or continuing practice in a subspecialty upon completion of residency.
Overview of Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Programs
A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is trained to provide anesthesia under supervision of an anesthesiologist or other medical doctor. While no accredited program is available fully online because of rigorous clinical training requirements, most graduate programs have some components that can be completed through distance learning. Applicants must be registered nurses with a B.S. in Nursing, possess a minimum of one year of experience in an intensive care unit, and have completed coursework in chemistry, physiology and statistics.
Program Information and Requirements
Graduate programs providing CRNA training can be completed in two to four years. Course components, such as exams, lecture notes and simulated exercises, are often available online. After the first year of basic coursework, clinical instruction requires students to be on-site at least part-time.
List of Courses Offered
The fundamentals of pharmacology, physiology, anatomy and biophysics are covered in classroom and laboratory settings. Clinical internships in anesthesia provide opportunities to apply the theoretical foundations learned online or in the classroom.
Nursing Ethics Course
Legal and ethical issues of practice are considered in a historical context in this course. Social and governmental concerns regarding administration and care are discussed.
Nursing Theory Course
Theoretical foundations of best practices are reviewed to bring students up-to-date on current nursing knowledge. Students are able to develop a personal nursing philosophy.
Health Care Policy Course
This course teaches students the ways in which health care policies are affected by society, technology and economics.
Nurse Anesthetists are in high demand. The current shortage of CRNA professionals means 100% employment of program graduates. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the median annual salary for registered nurses was $66,530 in 2009 (www.bls.gov).
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