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How Much Do AA's Really Make?

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JCole View Drop Down
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Joined: 03 Oct 2007
Location: United States
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  Quote JCole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How Much Do AA's Really Make?
    Posted: 27 Feb 2010 at 8:41pm

I keep hearing that most hiring websites are a bad representation of how much Anesthesiologist Assistant's make and job opportunities for them. Is this because AA’s want to hide the fact that they are making as much as CRNA’s? If this is not the reason, I am curious why it is this way.

I have heard/ was told at interviews that most AA’s are recruited directly out of schools. If so where and how do you look for a new job after you are already employed? I am from Michigan (a state where AA’s can practice, but I have only heard of a few that do so) and would like to know how to go about getting a job in my home state where Hospitals/Anesthesia groups are not likely to actively recruit me directly out of school. The director of anesthesia at the hospital where I currently work said he has been looking into hiring AA’s and I could contact him after I graduate. This fine but I don’t want to be limited to one job opportunity. Could I call on postings for CRNA’s and see if they would hire an AA instead?

Advice from a practicing AA would be great.


      * Re: How to get a job in states where there are not many AA’s

I am currently a student at Nova, but in my first year. When you go on your clinical year, you are free to go pretty much to any hospital (as long as it meets the quality of the rotation you need- like if you need a neuro rotation, you have to go to a hospital that does a lot of neuro cases). If you want to do a rotation at a hospital the school does not have as an established site, you just have to set it up yourself. For example, you could contact the hospital you currently work at in Michigan and ask to do a rotation there. Many hospitals that have not hired AAs yet will take them for rotations. Then, if they like you, they may very well offer you a job.

I do know that most students are offered jobs this way, from a place that they did a clinical rotation. It is also a possibility to call on postings for CRNA's, like you asked. I know many hospitals that hire AAs and CRNAs interchangeably will sometimes only advertise that they are looking for CRNAs, just because there are so many more of them out there.


       * VA and MILITARY HOSPITALS, Indian Hospitals

Around about 1990 the military said they were considering bringing in AAs. Of course the CRNAs went nuts over that as AAs working under MDAs can not be deployed independently like CRNAs can. The CRNAs saw it as fewer deployable anesthesia providers thus they would get deployed more.

Anyway due to the downsizing of the services under Clinton they had more than enough anesthesia providers and actually gave a lot of them early (15-20 year) retirements. The issue of the AAs never came up and right now I see it as a dead issue in the services.

However the VA and the Indian Hospitals (US Public Health Service) are still having problems getting anesthesia providers. You might have some luck there as you do not need a license in the state where the facility is, just a license in one of the 50 states. I think that would be a way for AAs to get into states that do not yet recognize AAs.

(CRNA since 1975. I am a radical and think AAs are a good thing.)


          o Re: VA and MILITARY HOSPITALS, Indian Hospitals


It's been almost 3 years since AAs have been allowed to work in the VA system. Does anyone know for a fact if there are any that are currently working in the VA system?


           + Re: VA and MILITARY HOSPITALS, Indian Hospitals

Yes - It is a fact. AAs train and work in VA facilities. Ask any Nova student doing rotations in the Palm Beach VA. This is verified by a former student (me) that did rotations in 3 VA centers and started her career in a VA in Tampa. There are 2 Emory students in the Seattle VA center and at least 3 AAs have worked in the San Fran VA center.


          o Re: VA and MILITARY HOSPITALS, Indian Hospitals

What are the salaries and benefits like in VA positions? Hours/schedule flexibility? As a CRNA in the field, what's your take on the potential market saturation and salary decrease for AA/CRNA in the future?


            + Re: VA and MILITARY HOSPITALS, Indian Hospitals

Salary, 2 yrs ago, was 95K + great benefits. 0700 - 1500 schedule, 4 on - 3 off, pick your 4 days. I liked working Sun - Mon, Thurs - Fri. Any anesthetist knows why I took Saturday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off. The cases were mostly ASA 3s& 4s. The scope of practice was completely open. I inserted CVPs, A-lines, PA caths. Worked in OB, Ortho, CT, Gen Surg. It is a very laid back environment and you are actively helping your country and the men and women that served it, in the military.


Anesthesiologist Assistant Resource Websites:

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