Anaesthesia Assistant Trainee

Work Area: 
Operating Room, Surgical Procedure Room, Cath Lab
Base Site: 
St Paul's Hospital
Regular Full Time
Job Category: 
Student and Internships
Support Services
Acute Care Hospital


Within the context of a client and family centered model of care and, in accordance with the Mission, Vision and Values, and strategic directions of Providence Health Care, the person promotes a safe, respectful, and civil working environment for patients, residents, families, visitors and staff.

Reporting to the Supervisor, Anaesthesia Assistant, the Anaesthesia Assistant Trainee functions as an integral member of the surgical team through provision of technical support and clinical assistance with induction, maintenance and emergence of anesthesia, under direct clinical supervision of the Attending Anesthesiologist and in accordance with the standards of practice guidelines of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society.

The Anaesthesia Assistant Trainee reports to the Clinical Instructor, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in conjunction with the Supervisor, Anaesthesia Assistant or designate for learning outcomes and for schedule of rotation. The Clinical Instructor in conjunction with the Anaesthesia Team (Supervisor, Anaesthesia, Anaesthesiologist, and Patient Care Manager, etc.) will assess trainee progress and develop ongoing plan to help the trainee meet all learning requirements.

The Anesthesia Assistant Trainee will provide clinical assistance under the direct supervision of an Anesthesiologist. A Qualified Anesthesia Assistant will orientate the Anesthetic Assistant Trainee to the role including demonstration and supervision of practice of the technical duties associated with the role. The Supervisor Anaesthesia Assistant, clinical in charge Anesthesiologist and the Patient Care Manager will confirm and agree sufficient proficiency in the required technical duties prior to completion of the orientation process.


Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
Demonstrated ability to assess client responses to care and to respond appropriately.
Demonstrated ability to use critical decision making skills.
Demonstrated ability to work independently and in collaboration with others.
Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work.
Demonstrated ability to communicate with and deal effectively with patients, families, staff, physicians, and other health care providers.
Demonstrated knowledge and ability to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedures appropriate for the area of service.
Physical ability to carry out the duties of the position.
Ability to operate related equipment.


Graduation from an accredited Respiratory Therapy program. One year of experience in an acute care hospital environment or equivalent. Active enrolment in the Thompson River’s University (TRU) Anaesthesia Assistant post-diploma program and the ability to start the Anaesthesia Assistant program with all required prerequisite courses completed.


Under the supervision of the Anaesthesiologist or Qualified Anaesthesia Assistant as applicable, the goal of the Anaesthesia Assistant Trainee will be to perform the following duties:

1. Assist in the preparation of the patient for surgery and ensures patient comfort by providing psycho-social support pre-operatively and during the induction phase of anaesthesia, including explaining procedures and answering questions.

2. Assists with pre and post-operative assessment of patients by performing an anesthetic risk and airway assessment and determining the general physical status of the patient. Advises the Anaesthesiologist of the patient’s status.

3. Prepares, tests, and maintains the integrity of equipment for use in anaesthesia, including anaesthesia machines and monitors, cerebral oximeter, EEG monitor, peripheral nerve stimulators, ultrasound machines, nitric delivery system, intubation equipment, fiber optic laryngoscope, breathing circuits, ventilators, scavenging devices, monitoring devices, infusion pumps/lines and blood gas lines through methods such as setting up, calibrating, operating and monitoring the equipment. Identifies malfunctions, carries out minor maintenance in accordance with Canadian Standards Association and liaises with Biomedical Engineering and/or vendor(s) to maintain optimal performance of equipment.

4. Assists with the induction of anaesthesia through methods such as providing management of airway, the establishment of ventilation, the procurement of intravenous and arterial lines and assisting Pulmonary Artery and other central line insertion.

5. Assists the Anaesthesiologist with the procurement of regional blockade via ultrasound, peripheral nerve stimulation, x-ray and/or a combination.

6. Assists the Anaesthesiologist with perioperative fiber optic airway procedures through the administration of topical anaesthetics for the airway, preparation of the difficult airway cart and assistance with performing endotracheal intubation. Monitors the patients’ physiological response to procedural stimulation/medication.

7. Administers prescribed pharmacological agents to the patient under the direction of the Anaesthesiologist, observes side effects and efficacy of treatment during anesthesia to ensure the patient responds appropriately.

8. Under the direct supervision of the Anaesthesiologist, initiates mechanical ventilation and titrates the anaesthetic according to care plan to ensure optimal maintenance of anaesthesia. Monitors and adjusts ventilation modalities as required to ensure adequate patient ventilation and oxygenation.

9. Assists with the documentation of patient data on the Anaesthesia Record by charting clinical findings such as vital signs (ECG, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature), respiratory status, including Tidal Volume, Rate, Volatile agent concentration, Ventilation mode and pressures.

10. Assists with patient emergence from anaesthesia by providing airway maintenance such as aspiration of secretions from the trachea and pharynx, patient extubation, discontinuing monitors and removing anesthesia equipment after surgical procedures. Assists the Anaesthesiologist in transporting the patient to the recovery room or other designated area by accompanying and monitoring patient’s respiratory status during transport.

11. Assists with patient transfer in and out of Operating Room as determined by the critical nature of the patient’s status.

12. Responds and assists with intraoperative crises such cardiac arrest and malignant hyperthermia response within the perioperative units and assists the Anaesthesiologist in providing airway, ventilatory and circulatory support.

13. Assists with providing diagnostic data for the Anaesthesiologist through methods such as blood sampling and analysis, end tidal CO2 monitoring, pulse oximetry and transcutaneous monitoring.

14. Maintains an inventory of anaesthesia equipment and supplies through methods such as identifying requirement of replenishment of equipment and notifying Biomedical Engineering, the Anaesthetic Aide, and Stores Porter.

15. Participates in the infection control program through methods such as assessing infection control in anesthetic equipment and disinfecting and sterilizing equipment in accordance with safety standards.

16. Performs other related duties as assigned.