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Notice Type
General Section
Notice Title

Notice of Scope of Practice and Prescribed Qualifications for the Practice of Anaesthetic Technology in New Zealand*

Pursuant to sections 11 and 12 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003, this notice replaces the previous notice (published in the New Zealand Gazette, 5 April 2012, No. 40, page 1201) issued by the Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand ("Council").
This notice sets out the scope of practice and qualifications for the practice of anaesthetic technology in New Zealand as required by sections 11 and 12 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 ("Act").
The Profession of Anaesthetic Technology
Anaesthetic technology is the provision of peri-operative technical management and patient care for supporting the provision of quality health care and safe anaesthetic services in New Zealand accredited health facilities.
Tasks included in this definition, but not limited to, are:
- anaesthetic related research and development;
- applied science and anaesthetic technology education;
- advanced patient monitoring;
- collection of samples for diagnostic investigation; and
- management.
Scope of Practice
The profession of anaesthetic technology contains one scope of practice of an anaesthetic technician.
Pursuant to section 11 of the Act, the Council specifies the anaesthetic technician scope of practice as:
An anaesthetic technician is a member of an anaesthetic care team, working collaboratively with other health professionals.
An anaesthetic technician:
- Utilises technical and clinical judgment to assess peri-operative requirements and provide patient care and assistance during all aspects of anaesthetic administration and during anaesthetic related procedures.
- Cannot prescribe and/or administer agents used for general anaesthesia and/or sedation independently. Administration of anaesthetic agents can only occur in an assisting role under the direction of a medical anaesthetist1 or intensive care specialist.
- Provides support to the medical anaesthetist or intensive care specialist and collaborates and works alongside other health professionals during peri-operative, interventional and investigative procedures.
- Provides anaesthetic assistance in operating departments, radiology and MRI units, intensive care, obstetric and emergency departments and any other area where anaesthesia is administered.
- Provides support for the safe transportation of patients, both within the hospital environment and/or between hospitals or surgical healthcare facilities.
- Works as a team member alongside other health workers.2
- Provides physical and emotional support to the patient to enhance the safe outcome of anaesthetic procedures.
- Anticipates and prepares the equipment, monitoring and other requirements specific to each anaesthetic procedure.
The Council's Competencies for Anaesthetic Technicians describe the skills and activities of an anaesthetic technician.
Prescribed Qualifications
Pursuant to section 12 of the Act, the following qualifications are prescribed for registration as an anaesthetic technician:
1. A tertiary qualification in anaesthetic technology from a New Zealand university combined with relevant and specialised anaesthetic technology experience and successful completion of an anaesthetic technician examination, all of which are accredited and/or approved by the Council.
2. A course of training and/or examinations combined with relevant and specialised anaesthetic technology experience that, in the opinion of the Council, is substantially equivalent to the course of the New Zealand prescribed qualification.
3. Certification in anaesthetic technology by an authority outside New Zealand, combined with relevant and specialised anaesthetic technology experience and/or the successful completion of an anaesthetic technician examination, all of which are approved and/or accredited by the Council and that, in the opinion of the Council, is sufficient for registration as an anaesthetic technician.
4. New Zealand registered and enrolled nurses who have at least five years' post-nursing-qualification specialised anaesthetic technology experience in a New Zealand health facility may apply for registration as an anaesthetic technician. The nurse may be required to undergo a work-based assessment as approved by the Council.
Dated at Wellington this 10th day of April 2014.
MARY DOYLE, Registrar, Medical Sciences Council of New Zealand.
Key to Annotations
1In this context "medical anaesthetist" includes anaesthetists in training.
2This may include working alongside people who are unregistered and/or unqualified.
*This notice, published in the New Zealand Gazette, 10 April 2014, No. 38, page 1114, is being republished in full as it was not tabled in Parliament within the appropriate time limit.