Course Descriptions

Clinical practicum provides the student with the opportunity to apply the principles of anesthesia to direct patient care. Students provide supervised care in a variety of settings. Students use advanced anesthetic techniques to challenge specialty rotations.

Clinical Experience
ANES 461 – Orientation to Clinical Experience, Summer Semester 3 credits
ANES 463 – Anesthesia Clinical Experience I, Fall Semester 3 credits
ANES 465 – Anesthesia Clinical Experience II, Spring Semester 4 credits
ANES 467 – Anesthesia Clinical Experience III, Summer Semester 4 credits
ANES 469 – Clinical Practicum, Fall Semester 8 credits
ANES 471 – Clinical Practicum, Summer Semester 8 credits

Course Descriptions

ANES 440/441: Patient Monitoring and Instrumentation (2/2)

Students are taught the proper balance between circuits and engineering concepts and the clinical application of anesthesia instrumentation. Monitors and devices used in the operating room are studied with respect to principles of operation, calibration and interpretation of data. Principles, application, and interpretation of various monitoring modalities including ECG, invasive and non-invasive blood pressure, oximetry, cardiac output, respiratory gas analysis, and respiration are also key components of this course.  Students will gain experience with intraoperative neurophysiology monitoring, temperature, renal function, coagulation/hemostasis, neuromuscular junction, transesophageal echocardiography, and ICP. This course covers advanced concepts of arterial pressure monitoring, ICP monitoring, transesophageal echocardiography, electric and radiation safety, and the hazards and complications of monitoring patients during anesthesia.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department; successful completion of ANES 440 required for ANES 441.

ANES 460: Introduction to Anesthesia (2)

This course introduces students to the operating room, emphasizing the fundamental procedures and techniques used in administering an anesthetic. One of the primary objectives of this class is to prepare and educate the student to work within the anesthesia care team.  The course includes a preoperative patient evaluation, which involves recording medical history, performing physical examinations, reviewing charts and select laboratory and radiologic testing as well as history of anesthesia, anesthetic techniques, hazards and complications, universal precautions and infection control.  The basic and advanced principles of elective and emergent airway management will be covered, including equipment and techniques. Course material encompasses recognition of the difficult airway, techniques to manage the difficult pediatric and adult airway, the ASA Difficult Airway Algorithm, physiologic response to intubation, fiber-optic techniques, retrograde techniques, and the surgical airway. Course will correlate with laboratory work for a better understanding and use of bag/ mask ventilation, oral and nasal airways, oral and nasal intubations techniques, lightwands, fiberoptic intubations, double lumen tubes, surgical airways, and application of laryngeal mask airway.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department.

ANES 461: Introduction to Clinical Experience (3)

This course is a supplement to ANES 460, giving students additional experience in the operating room and with the practice of anesthesia. Preoperative assessment, IV placement techniques, intraoperative patient care and postoperative management, layout of the operating room, sterile fields and techniques, interacting with patients, starting intravenous catheters, and application of ASA-standard monitors are all emphasized in this course. Students will utilize anesthesia simulator to gain the basic knowledge and usage of monitors.  BLS (Basic Life Support) certification is required for course completion.

Prerequisites: Acceptance in the MSA Program.

ANES 485: Introduction to Physiologic-Based Simulation (1)

In this course students will be introduced to physiological model-based simulation using on-screen computer simulation and mannequins. The key objectives of this class are to improve student’s anesthesia-related basic science knowledge, manual skills in anesthesia machine checkout, drug and equipment set up, safety inspections and understanding of how anesthesia is performed for uncomplicated surgical cases.

ANES 403: Cardiac Electrophysiology (2)

This course focuses on basic and advanced ECG interpretation using simulators to understand an overview of heart anatomy, function, and electrophysiology. Students will also gain experience with diagnosis and practical applications of electrocardiography and echocardiography as monitoring techniques in the operating room.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department.

ANES 456/458: Applied Physiology for Anesthesiologist Assistants (3/3)

This course emphasizes pathophysiology in a systems approach – cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, neuro, metabolic, and endocrine. This course focuses on those systems which affect evaluation and planning for anesthesia and those systems affected by the administration of anesthesia. Students will study basic and applied human systems physiology with an emphasis on topics and areas of special concern to the anesthetist.  This class introduces advanced concepts relevant to anesthesia including hemodynamics, Starling forces, pulmonary responses, renal hemodynamics, temperature regulation, blood gases/pH, and maternal and fetal physiology.  The purpose of the course is to introduce various pathologic conditions inherent to the patient population and how to provide information on those disease processes to alter anesthetic techniques.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department; successful completion of ANES 456 required for ANES 458.

ANES 462/464/468/470: Anesthesia Clinical Correlation (1/1/1/1)

This course is comprised of a series of conferences presented by students that apply to anesthetic theory as it relates to the clinical experience. Specific anesthetic situations are emphasized. This course provides a working knowledge of evidence based medicine. Cases will be used as the backbone of this course to assist the student in analyzing data to justify the treatments used in clinical practice. Students will also learn how to critically appraise the literature, evaluate diagnostic test performance, design clinical pathways and standards of care, and implement evidenced based medicine findings in their own clinical or administrative setting.

Prerequisites: ANES 460; successful completion of ANES 462 required for ANES 464.

ANES 475/476: Pharmacology for Anesthesiologist Assistants (3/3)

This course introduces students to the basic principles of pharmacology and focuses on those drugs most often used in the practice of anesthesia, including inhaled anesthetics, opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, anticholinesterases and anticholinergics, neuromuscular blockers, and adrenergic agonists and antagonists.  The course provides an overview of drug actions, interactions, metabolism, methods of administration, dosages, side effects, precautions, and contraindications.  This course focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of major drug classifications and their interactions with anesthetic agents. Students will gain insight into the basic principles of drug action; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drugs; mechanisms of drug action; toxicity.  Students will also learn the basis for the use of medicines in pharmacologic therapy of specific diseases.  ANES 475/476 emphasizes drugs utilized as adjunct therapies related to the practice of anesthesia, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antiarrhythmics, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants, antihistamines, and antimicrobials.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department; successful completion of ANES 475 required for ANES 476.


A continuum of courses over the fall and spring semesters that covers a series of topics in basic medical science with special emphasis on the effect of anesthetics on normal physiology. An examination is administered at the end of each semester.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department; successful completion of each preceding course is necessary for advancement to subsequent coursework.

ANES 486: Physiologic Model-Based Simulation I (1)

This course is a continuation of ANES 485. Students will have access to a state-of-the-art laboratory and an anesthesia simulator that will prepare them for the usage and complete understanding of monitoring and the practice of anesthesia. Students will apply their didactic knowledge to scenarios on the anesthesia simulator. Patient modalities are explored, such as pulse oximetry, capnography, echocardiography, regional anesthetic placement, blood pressure monitoring systems and invasive monitoring line placement and monitoring.  Laboratory experiences are correlated to the clinical setting through actual patient vignettes and simulation scenarios. The course provides for the certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). The course will focus on assessment and management of adults, children, and infants in a cardiopulmonary crisis.

ANES 477: Clinical Decision Making in Anesthesia (2)

This course is an introduction to thinking about clinical problems and coming to safe and effective solutions to these problems. This course focuses on common clinical situations where appropriate decision making is important to the outcome of the case. Numerous areas of medicine and anesthesiology will be covered to provide the student with a wide sampling of decisions made each day with patient care. This course supplements the other courses offered during the spring semester by integrating and applying basic science knowledge to the care of patients. This course assists the student in integrating theory with practice by analyzing the anesthetic management of selected cases, utilizing a problem based learning approach. Relevant anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and anesthetic and surgical considerations are described and discussed. Patient care plans are reviewed, compared, and contrasted in light of actual or anticipated outcomes.  Current standards of care are reviewed in terms of continuous quality improvement.

Prerequisites: Consent of the department.

ANES 488: Anesthesia Non-Technical Skills Lab (1)

A corollary simulation-based course introducing the student to non-technical skills that are used integrally with medical knowledge and clinical techniques. These non-technical skills can be defined as behaviors in the operating room environment that are not directly related to the use of medical expertise, drugs or equipment. Through this course the student will improve both interpersonal skills (e.g. communication, team working, and leadership) and cognitive skills (e.g. situation awareness, decision making).

ANES 490: Ethics, Law, and Diversity for Anesthesiologist Assistants (2)

This course will focus on three important topics within the field of anesthesiology. First, the course will focus on legal practice as it applies to health care including basics of medical jurisprudence, negligence, and how to avoid a lawsuit. Second, students will gain insight into ethical theory including the principles of medical ethics, do not resuscitate, truth telling, and assessment of competence. The course will close with a discussion on diversity that will focus on the differences and similarities among people and how these factors influence patient care. The final grade will be based on an essay and a multiple choice exam.

Prerequisite: Consent of the department.

ANES 584/585: Physiologic-Based Model Simulation III & IV (1/1)

This course is an extension of ANES 485 emphasizing physical techniques, aspects of crisis management, teamwork and rescue in anesthesia. This course will review concepts learned in BLS and ACLS training. Students will also gain experience with critical crisis management and rescue techniques, which are not often seen in practice.