This programme is intended for existing health care practitioners or graduates with a science background who wish to work as part of the anaesthetic team.
The programme will develop a practitioner role that enables the anaesthesia team to have more staff working differently. Presently in the UK only doctors who have had specialist training in anaesthesia can administer anaesthetics. The PA(A) is a health professional who will expand the anaesthetic service and make operating theatres work more efficiently. You will work alongside other members of the anaesthetic team and under the supervision of your anaesthetist.
Successful completion of the programme will be followed by three months of pre-registration work experience and then registration.
Students who have satisfactorily completed the 120 taught credits of the Postgraduate Diploma: Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) will have the option of transferring to the Physicians’ Assistant (Anaesthesia) MSc Programme. Award of the MSc will require the completion of an additional 60 credit Dissertation module, which would take the form of a research project of their own choosing. The MSc is self funded costing £1920 in 2013/2014 (subject to change each year).
Learning and teaching
The programme is made up of 12 two-month blocks of teaching. Each block lasts for approximately 35 days to allow for holidays and is broken down as follows:
Directed self study – 70 hours
Small group teaching – 14 hours
Clinical skills teaching – 21 hours
Workplace experience – 140 hours
A typical week may consist of:
1 2-hour tutorial
2-3 days in the clinical area
½ day clinical skills training
1½ days self-directed study, e.g. working through the e-lectures
The blocks are as follows:
Block 1 – Introduction to clinical practice (1)
Block 2 – Introduction to clinical practice (2)
Block 3 – Introduction to anaesthesia
Block 4 – Physics in anaesthesia
Block 5 – The anaesthesia machine and monitoring
Block 6 – The heart and circulation
Block 7 – The airways and lungs
Block 8 – The kidneys, liver, endocrine system and blood
Block 9 – The brain and nervous system
Block 10 –Clinical history and examination
Block 11 –Management of life-threatening emergencies
Block 12 –Advanced practice
The programme is delivered primarily in the Trust to give maximum exposure to the clinical environment. Delivery of the academic component is largely through e-lectures using the University's virtual learning environment, WebCT. Key aspects of the e-lectures are discussed further in the tutorial sessions led by the clinical tutor, as well as issues encountered in the clinical area and the application of the theoretical component. Tutorial plans are supplied as part of the programme material.
Students attend the University for an induction day, exams and the mock OSCE. The final OSCE examination takes place at the Royal College of Anaesthetists in London.
For further information about the role of PA(A)s, training and entry requirements please visit the Royal College of Anaesthetists website: www.rcoa.ac.uk
School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine website: www.clinexpmed.bham.ac.uk
This programme is part of a structured training programme for the role of Physicians' Assistant (Anaesthesia) or PA(A). It is fully funded by the individual SHA/Trust that supports PA(A) training.
The course fees are £3780 per student per year which are funded through the Strategic Health Authority. This includes:
On-line tutorial plans
On-line electronic lectures
On-line WebCT discussion boards
Academic tutor support
8-month MCQ Exam
24-month MCQ Exam
Support for clinical tutors
Note to the SHA/Trusts: It is advisable for Trusts to plan for some additional travel costs both for attendance at mock examinations, simulation training days and final examinations.
The programme is open to applicants from two different routes:
1. Registered health care practitioners (eg, nurses, operating department practitioners) require one or both of the following:
At least three years’ full-time, post-qualification work experience in a relevant area, and evidence of recent (within three years) and successful academic activity
A first degree in a health-related subject
2. New entrants to health care (graduates or graduate equivalent) require:
A biomedical science or biological science background
Preferably a second-class Honours degree or better, or other evidence of recent and successful academic activity
A demonstrable commitment to a career in health care
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements
Standard English language requirements apply