Physicians’ Assistants (Anaesthesia) are highly trained and skilled healthcare professionals who are qualified to administer anaesthesia under the supervision of a medically qualified anaesthetist. The role is relatively new to the UK, but is common practice in Scandinavia, northern Europe and the United States. The PA(A) will be a health professional or a university graduate who has undergone a further twenty-seven month programme of postgraduate training, which leads to a Postgraduate Diploma in Anaesthetic Practice. PA(A)s do not have a medical qualification. The full curriculum for PA(A) training can be found at here.
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How will the PA(A)be involved in your care?
PA(A)s are involved in several ways.
- Carrying out your pre-operative assessment for anaesthesia.
- Planning your anaesthetic and ensuring it is approved by their supervisor.
- Ensuring you are properly prepared for surgery.
- Administering and monitoring your anaesthetic throughout your operation.
- Assisting your anaesthetist if you have your operation under regional anaesthesia, with or without sedation.
- Helping with your care in the time immediately after your operation.
- Some Trusts may choose to employ PA(A)s to support doctors in Accident & Emergency departments, Emergency Medicine and Critical Care where their advanced skills will be a benefit to patients, or after post-qualification training to perform certain local anaesthetic techniques.