AUT Perioperative Practice Programme

Think you’ve got what it takes to start a career in operating theatre patient care? Becoming an anaesthetic technician means becoming a key member of a team that cares for patients at a vital time as they journey through an operation and return to normal life.

The Faculty of Clinical Sciences at AUT is now offering a Degree of Health Science in Perioperative Practice as the pathway to becoming an anaesthetic technician. You will find information in this Perioperative Practice brochure or on the AUT website here.

Graduates of this programme can apply to register as an anaesthetic technician with the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand (MSC).

NZATS Requirements during Training

Membership with NZATS throughout training

Anaesthetic Technician Trainees must be members of NZATS for their training hours to be counted.

At the end of 2019, the Medical Sciences Council decided to make reduction in clinical hours the responsibility of the employer to determine, i.e., the employer can decide if they feel the Trainee is competent to sit the Registration Exam once all theoretical components from AUT have been completed. The only restriction on this is that, as per PS08, at least 12 months of practical hours must be completed. So, whilst information is on the NZATS website regarding hours, it is not an NZATS decision to make.

Clinical training hours are completed at the same time as the trainee studies for AUT papers. It is expected that study is completed in the trainee’s own time. Training hospitals will provide a minimum of one hour of lecture time per week (or equivalent) to support study. The programme of study must be completed before applying to sit the final NZATS Registration Examination. Trainees must pass this examination in order to register as a qualified Anaesthetic Technician.

NZATS Training Guidelines

Graduate Certificate in Science (HA1043)

This programme is designed as a pathway for Trainee Anaesthetic Technicians who already have a relevant health degree. The programme is 60 points (equivalent of one semester of full-time study), and the qualification is awarded at level 7.

Clinical Training

For existing diploma students, or graduate certificate/diploma students, the clinical training is managed under the direction of the Supervisor of Training (SoT), or their appointee. The SoT is usually a Consultant Anaesthetist employed at the training hospital who liaises closely with the trainee, other clinical staff and AUT. Newly appointed Trainee Anaesthetic Technicians complete a short programme which introduces them to the Operating Room environment and basic science of anaesthesia. In the beginning Trainees are allocated to work with a Preceptor and are supervised at all times. The Preceptor will guide the trainee through competencies and assessments detailed in the Anaesthetic Technology I practical manual and provide practical instruction in all aspects of the role. At the end of the orientation period, hospitals conduct their own assessments to ensure trainees are appropriately skilled to work safely and competently within their scope of practice. After this time, trainees work with increasing independence over the duration of their training programme. Support during this time is always available from the senior staff.

Levels of Supervision

MSC Levels of Supervision Training is “competency, experience and task based” and is supported and supervised by the following people:

  • Supervisor of Training
  • Charge Anaesthetic Technician
  • Educator (if appointed)
  • Senior Anaesthetic Technicians