Anaesthetic Technician

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Anaesthetic Technicians are healthcare workers employed in the New Zealand Health Service and the Australian Health Service. Anaesthetic Technicians are mainly employed by Anaesthetic Departments or Operating theatre Suites, but can be found in other areas of clinical practice including the Emergency Departments, Intensive Care Units and Day Surgery Clinics.

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Infusion Pumps - Image by: Andrew Smith
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Drug Ampoules - Image by: Andrew Smith

Job Description

Anaesthetic Technicians are involved with all aspects of the delivery of a patient's perioperative anaesthetic care, taking into account the patients' religious and cultural beliefs and respecting their right to medical privacy and dignity at all times.

Prior to anaesthesia

Anaesthetic Technicians prepare equipment needed for the patient to safely undergo anaesthesia. This involves :-

During anaesthesia

The Anaesthetic Technicians role includes assisting with :-

  • inducing & maintaining adequate anaesthesia
  • establishing & securing an airway
  • making sure that patient's are positioned in such a way NOT to cause discomfort during their procedure
  • monitoring patients' vital signs and anaesthesia depth
  • temperature monitoring and regulation
  • collection and analysis of patient (blood) samples
  • acquiring transfusion fluids and equipment

After anaesthesia

Anaesthetic Technicians assist the anaesthetist with :-

  • waking the patient
  • removing airway devices
  • transferring the patient to the Post anesthesia care unit (PACU)
  • handing over patient information to the PACU staff

Other activities

Regional variations exist, but Anaesthetic Technicians may be involved with include:-

Anaesthetic Technicians in New Zealand

Anaesthetic Technicians work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team that includes doctors, nurses and support workers. The New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians Society currently hold a voluntary register of members.


Anaesthetic Technicians have been accepted as needing registration as a profession under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. This group are in the final stages of sourcing a regulatory body. Regulation is an important step in the future growth of this group within New Zealand healthcare and will mirror recent changes within the United Kingdom NHS regarding similarly trained personnel obtaining registration with the Health Professions Council.


After a recent review and restructuring of the existing qualification for Anaesthetic Technicians in New Zealand, a Diploma of Applied Sciences (Anaesthetic Technology) is now the national base qualification. This is studied for throught Auckland University of Technology.

Other (international) qualifications may also be acceptable for working as an Anaesthetic Technician in New Zealand. These can be more closely investigated through the New Zealand Anaesthetic Technicians Society.


7th - 10th November 2007 at the Sky City Convention Centre, Auckland

Anaesthetic Technicians in Australia


Currently, there is no compulsory regulatory body that exists in Australia to standardise the qualification necessary to work as an Assistant in Anaesthetia. The Australian Society of Paramedical Officers or ASAPO was hence created to try and standardise the profession by way of a voluntary registration process. Members are currently working toward and lobying both levels of government for a complusory registraion process, to be regulated by an official government body.

Health Training Package

There is currently a review underway for the Health Technicians Training Package. This Training Package includes national qualifications for health technicians and is still in the preliminary stage of review. Updates on this review can be found at the Health Training Package HLT02 Review website here - [1]


  • Diploma of Anaesthetic Technology - Integrated Care Management New South Wales
  • Diploma of Science (Anaesthetics) - Southbank Institute of TAFE Queensland

Australian Hospitals that Employ Anaesthetic Technicians

New South Wales

  • Albury-Wodonga Private Hospital
  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory


  • Gold Coast Hospital
  • Logan Hospital
  • Mater Misaccordae Health Services
  • Prince Charles Hospital
  • Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • Queen Elizebeth II Jubilee Hospital
  • Toowoomba Base Hospital

South Australia



  • Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital
  • Bendigo Health

Western Australia

  • Royal Perth Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital
  • Princess Margarets Hospital for Children
  • King Edwards Maternity Hospital

World Conference

  • The Inaugural World Conference For Anaesthetic Paramedical Officers was held at Jupiters Casino at the Gold Coast on the 9th - 12th November 2006.

Related Links - New Zealand

Related Links - Australia