Hospital procedures are impacted under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. More details

Hospital procedures are impacted under the Covid-19 Protection Framework. More details

Celebrating National Anaesthetic Technicians Day 2022

Angus France, Anaesthetic Technician at Southern Cross Rotorua


Today (8 March 2022) Southern Cross Healthcare is celebrating our anaesthetic technicians (ATs) to recognise the essential contribution they make in supporting the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

New Zealand has been faced with a national shortage of skilled ATs for a number of years, exacerbated by Covid-19 restrictions which have limited the ability to recruit from overseas. Today, and every day, we are grateful to our Southern Cross Healthcare ATs who have responded to this ongoing challenge with determination and utmost commitment to patient care.

Many of our ATs have been taking on additional shifts and working more flexibly to cover our theatre lists. We are very thankful for their ongoing resilience, professionalism, and care for the wellbeing of our patients.

The role of anaesthetic technicians

ATs are primarily based in operating theatres; working closely with the theatre team to ensure our patients have safe anaesthesia and surgery. They are often the first to turn the theatre lights on in the morning, checking critical care equipment and preparing for their patients’ care needs. ATs work closely with the nursing teams to keep theatre lists running smoothly. Often among the last to leave at the end of shift, they stay on-site to support our post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) nurses. ATs also respond to resuscitation and transfer events in the hospital and are valued for their support in emergency situations.

New anaesthetic technican degree qualification

The qualification for ATs has changed to BHSc Perioperative Practice, with the first intake of students enrolling this month. Southern Cross Healthcare is delighted to be working in partnership with AUT to arrange student placements in our hospitals, beginning later this year.

AUT have built the degree to ensure graduates are equipped with the skills to work in a variety of clinical settings. We expect to see future graduates working in our theatres and in our PACUs; aligned with Southern Cross Healthcare’s plans to develop flexible teams to support our patient services. We are looking forward to welcoming the new graduates into the workforce from November 2023. You can find more information about the degree here.

Our Executive Leadership Team and Nursing Directorate send all our ATs a very big thank you for the work they do.