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Assistant to the Anaesthetist


The Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Anaesthetic Perioperative Care Network (APCN) held a forum to discuss ‘Education for the Assistant to the Anaesthetist’ on Monday, 29 October 2018 at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick. The forum targeted doctors, nurses, technicians and managers that work in anaesthetics and theatres throughout NSW.

The aims of the APCN led Forum were:

  • to provide opportunities to discuss the current demand and needs for tailored education for staff working as assistants to the anaesthetist
  • to identify perceived strengths, weaknesses, risks and changes that could improve education and support for staff working as assistants to the anaesthetist


The focus of the forum was related to education and any broader departmental workforce issues related to assistants were outside the scope of the forum.

The quality of education for staff providing assistance to the anaesthetist is or paramount importance as these staff need to be sufficiently skilled and competent in all tasks required for the role to support the safety of surgery. The Australian New Zealand College of Anaesthetist (ANZCA) Statement on the Assistant for the Anaesthetist (PS08, 2016) describes the core requirements and competencies to guide the training and staffing requirements for staff working in this role (1). These include the core competencies that need to be addressed in the training, and the need for at least 12 months full-time equivalent of clinical practice that can occur as staff progress through the training.

Where is this up to?

A report has been circulated to members of the APCN Executive and those that attended the forum.

Anaesthesia Perioperative Care Network


Michaela Ward
Anaesthesia & Perioperative Care A/Network Manager

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