The Profession of Anaesthetic Technology

The Council has adopted the following definition of the profession of anaesthetic technology:

Anaesthetic technology is the provision of perioperative 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
  • management

An Anaesthetic Technician is a member of an anaesthetic care team, working collaboratively with other health professionals.  

An Anaesthetic Technician:

  • utilises technical and clinical judgement to assess peri-operative requirements and provide patient care and assistance during all aspects of anaesthetic administration and during anaesthetic related procedures
  • cannot independently prescribe or administer agents used for general anaesthesia and/or sedation.  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 areas where anaesthesia is administered
  • provides support for the safe transportation of patients, both within the hospital environment and/or between other hospitals or healthcare facilities
  • works as a team member alongside other health workers²
  • 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 Medical Sciences Council Competencies for Anaesthetic Technicians describes the skills and activities of an anaesthetic technician.

Expanded Practice Role

Registered Anaesthetic Technicians may have an opportunity to practise in an expanded practice role.  This is not a separate scope of practice but rather is an extension of the Anaesthetic Technician scope of practice.  Expanded practice roles will facilitate flexibility in the anaesthetic technology workforce, and can particularly assist with meeting the specific needs of regional and/or local health services.  The expanded practice role supports government policy to improve productivity within New Zealand healthcare services, and within an affordable framework.

The Council is currently undertaking further work to clarify the practicalities of the expanded practice role within the profession of anaesthetic technology, including the development of required standards, clarification on the roles of practitioners, employers and the Council, and the treatment of intellectual property.

How to Register

When you apply to the Medical Sciences Council for registration as a medical laboratory scientist, a medical laboratory technician, a medical laboratory pre-analytical technician or an Anaesthetic technician you will need to provide a number of documents as evidence that you have the required qualifications and experience that demonstrate you are competent to practise in the profession of medical laboratory science.

If you are a New Zealand graduate click here for information regarding the requirements for registration.

New Zealand trained anaesthetic technician

If you received your qualification and training overseas click on your scope practice here:

Overseas trained anaesthetic technician

Annual Practising Certificates

Each year you are practising in New Zealand you are required to hold a current Annual Practising Certificate (APC).  Part of the APC application, you are required to make a number of declarations including that you have been practising in your scope of practice for an average of 8 clinical hours per week over the past 12-months.

To apply or renew your APC, you will need to log into your profile and click on renew my APC.



¹In this context 'medical anaesthetist' includes anaesthetists in training

²This may include working alongside people who are unregistered