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By Joseph F. Answine, M.D.

A Nurse Anesthetist:

  • Is a registered nurse who has completed a training program in nurse anesthesia
  • Is most commonly under the supervision of an anesthesiologist

An Anesthesiologist Assistant:

  • Is a medical professional who has completed an anesthesiologist assistant training program
  • Works under the supervision of an anesthesiologist

A Student Nurse Anesthetist:

  • Is a registered nurse who is enrolled in a nurse anesthesia training program
  • There is significant debate as to whether a Student Nurse Anesthetist should be allowed to provide anesthesia without the continuous presence of an anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist. However, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ Statement of An Anesthesia Care Team: “… the use of non-physician students in place of fully trained and credentialed anesthesia personnel is not endorsed as best practice by the American Society of Anesthesiologists”

A Student Anesthesiologist Assistant:

  • Is a health professional who is enrolled in an accredited anesthesiologist assistant training program and, therefore, has completed the necessary coursework required for enrollment
  • Is always directly supervised (continuously present in the room) by another anesthesia provider such as an anesthesiologist or anesthesiologist assistant


Physicians Protecting Patients