Anesthesiologist Assistant Professional Standards

Standards of professional behavior for the anesthesiologist assistant (AA) covers professional behavior, standards for attire, attendance, and completion and maintenance of records documenting clinical education (case logging system) 

Standards for Professional Behavior

The South University Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) programs recognize and uphold the standards of professional behavior for students of the program as outlined by the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA, GUIDELINES FOR THE ETHICAL STANDARDS OF THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST ASSISTANT, Adopted July 2007.

These standards state: 
The Anesthesiologist assistant is expected to act both legally and morally. They are responsible for knowing and understanding the laws governing their practice and the ethical responsibilities of being a health care professional.

The practice of anesthesiology involves many complex factors relating to the standards of patient care. As such, the Academy recommends its members adhere to the basic set of ethical standards outlined below: 

  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall, while caring for the patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount, thereby putting the interests of the patient foremost and acting as a patient advocate.
  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall be dedicated to providing competent medical care with compassion and respect for human dignity.
  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall maintain standards of professionalism in all patient interactions and always acting in the best interests of the patient.
  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall respect the law.
  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall respect the rights of the patients under their care, colleagues and other health care professionals with whom they interact and shall safeguard the confidentiality of patients' medical and personal information within the constraints of the law.
  • The Anesthesiologist Assistant shall uphold the right of every patient to the ethical right to self-determination, and therefore not coerce any portion of the decision-making process and shall facilitate the informed consent process. Anesthesiologist Assistants shall be committed to the concept of shared decision-making, which involves assisting patients in making decisions that account for medical, situational, and personal factors.
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants shall have the inherent responsibility to observe and report any potentially negligent practices or conditions which compromise patient safety or present a hazard to health care facility personnel.
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants render high-quality patient care without prejudice as to race, religion, age, sex, nationality, disability, social, economic, or insurance status.
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants should not misrepresent, directly or indirectly, their skills, training, professional credentials, title, or identity.
  • Anesthesiologist Assistants shall strive to maintain a spirit of cooperation with other health care professionals, their organizations, and the general public.

In the practice of anesthesia, the safety and well-being of patients is every practitioner's first and foremost concern. The confidential acquisition and maintenance of patient data are also of paramount importance. Inappropriate behavior and/or failure to maintain patient data in an appropriate, confidential manner according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines are grounds for immediate review and for possible dismissal.

Personal Use of Electronic Devices

Students are not allowed to use individual electronic devices for personal reasons during clinical education.  Use of such devices may be allowed for educational purposes only if approved by the student's direct clinical supervisor.  Violation of this policy is considered a breach of the Professional Standards of the Anesthesiologist Assistant program and if such a violation occurs, that student will be referred to the Progress and Promotions committee.

Experiential Learning 

No course credit is awarded for experiential learning to applicants of the Master of Medical Science in Anesthesia Science program.