ABOVE: From left are Amanda Judice (Spring Hill); Sue Christian, program director and instructor of anesthesia technology; Darbee Hollis (Cypress Inn); Jessica Krizman (Franklin); and Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. // SUBMITTED



Columbia State Community College recently honored the three inaugural anesthesia technology graduates in a pinning ceremony in the Waymon L. Hickman Building.

The graduates are Amanda Judice of Spring Hill; Darbee Hollis of Cypress Inn; and Jessica Krizman of Franklin.

The inaugural program was offered at the Williamson County campus in Franklin.

It is exciting to have an anesthesia technology program offered at Columbia State,” Sue Christian, program director and instructor of anesthesia technology. “With the advancement of technology, Middle Tennessee employers have been increasingly challenged with training competent and clinically skilled anesthesia techs to support the anesthesia care team. Access to certified anesthesia techs has been extremely limited in Tennessee, and a program of this caliber exemplifies the commitment that Columbia State has to meeting the needs of the community.”

The Anesthesia Technology Associate of Applied Science degree academic plan involves two or more semesters of general education coursework followed by a 12-month, three semester, series of core courses designed to provide classroom and clinical-based competencies which provide students with the skills required for credentialing exam success and immediate in-field employment.

“Vanderbilt Medical Center offered Columbia State a unique opportunity to respond to an identified need for anesthesia technologists and offer students an additional option for entering the healthcare industry,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. “Adding another health science program, which can be completed exclusively at the college’s Williamson Campus, is exciting.”

Victoria Reyes, Pasedena City College anesthesia technology program director, three-time past president of The American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians and chair of the board of directors for the Commission on Accreditation for Anesthesia Technology Education, joined the ceremony via remote video to congratulate Columbia State and the graduates for a successful first cohort.

“You truly are pioneers in the profession,” Reyes said. “The profession is young, and education and standardized college programs at this degree level are even younger. Sue Christian and Kae Fleming had the foresight and the vision to also be pioneers by establishing the program focusing on the role and future of tomorrow’s anesthesia care team and the profession itself.”

Anesthesia Technology at Columbia State is the first program of its kind in Tennessee and the surrounding region.

Anesthesia technologists support the licensed anesthesia provider with the acquisition, preparation and application of various types of equipment required for the delivery of anesthesia. Other job responsibilities of the anesthesia technologist include maintaining the anesthesia machine, assisting with vascular access and regional anesthesia procedures, troubleshooting equipment, assisting with difficult airways, performing point of care lab tests and operating rapid infusers. More advanced duties might include the operation of autotransfusion equipment or intraaortic balloon pumps.

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