Anesthesiologist Assistant (MHSA) Program Overview

The Master of Health Science in Anesthesia (MHSA) Program is a joint collaboration between the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) and Bluefield University and will reside in a state-of-the-art learning space on VCOM’s campus in Auburn, Alabama. The centralized location of facilities allows for easy student access to the local clinical rotation sites as well as a plethora of activities for student enjoyment, an unrivaled campus experience, and plenty of affordable housing in the immediate surrounding area. A feature of the program is the block-based curriculum focused on a foundation of didactic knowledge, simulated immersive learning, and community-based clinical anesthesia rotations. In order to bring the students successfully through the competency-based curricular continuum, the faculty use several innovative education and assessment methodologies, and the learning facilities are designed with these methodologies in mind. Classroom resources support all formats of didactic learning, including interactive distance learning, and students will use the on-site multidisciplinary simulation center to provide an immersive environment to correlate the classroom instruction with hands-on clinical scenarios. Core clinical rotation sites are set throughout Alabama, North Georgia, and upstate South Carolina. Just as Bluefield University and VCOM are dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, research, patient care, and community service, so too is the Master of Health Science in Anesthesia Program committed to the promotion of excellence in the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA) profession.

A Powerful Program for a Rewarding Career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant

Professional anesthesiologist assistant practice involves patient assessment and planning, administering, and evaluating anesthesia care for the patient under the medical direction of a physician anesthesiologist. Our unique learning strategy and curriculum seek to provide a wide base of anesthesia educational experiences and incorporate cutting-edge technology, including web-based learning and immersive human patient simulation while providing a fully integrated learning experience for students. The MHSA program builds on the belief that learning is an independent, self-initiated, lifelong process, including opportunities for faculty-student interaction, goal setting, evaluating learning experiences, and monitoring and measuring student progress. The learning experiences, in both classroom and clinical settings, are designed to achieve the integration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for training a competent anesthetist. The overall aim is to provide an atmosphere of intellectual inquiry and clinical experience to enable each student to realize his or her potential.

The Master of Health Science in Anesthesia Program provides an educational environment that allows students to cultivate into health care providers who are driven by compassion and guided by science, to provide the best and safest patient care. The Program is locally and nationally recognized as an authority and primary source for Anesthesiologist assistant information and services related to promoting the practice of delivering safe and quality anesthesia as a member of the anesthesia care team. The faculty and students of the Program are recognized as leaders within the profession through collective service to the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA), the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), and other professional organizations.

Message from the Dean

The Academic Catalog is the student guide to all policies and procedures for Bluefield University.

The MHSA Student Handbook should be utilized for more specific information on program details or policies

Admission & Graduation RequirementsProgrammatic EffectivenessFrequently Asked QuestionsAccepted Student InformationAbout UsLearning CurriculumClinical Preceptor Resources

Tuition: $1,027 Per Credit Hour
Next Start: June 5, 2023 (Auburn Campus)
Time to Complete: 2.5 years

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What Makes Us Different?

  • Our program is driven by the shared mission of Bluefield University and VCOM to bring high-quality healthcare to medically underserved regions and historically marginalized communities
  • Expansive clinical rotation network across the Appalachian foothills and Mississippi Delta regions
  • Focused organizational and academic alignment on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • Innovative ‘From & To’ focus on student recruitment and graduate placement in Appalachian and Mississippi Delta regions
  • The unique military service member, combined degrees, and pathway programming for applicants and graduates
  • No entrance exam requirement
  • Thematic integration of servant leadership and global health service principles
  • Focused clinical rotations in critical care and Perioperative Surgical Home methodologies
  • Integrated outreach clinical service rotations in rural Appalachian and Caribbean regions
  • Campus life experience at Auburn University unrivaled amongst AA programs
  • Graduates will achieve nationally recognized certification as a professional in healthcare quality (CPHQ)

Courses & Requirements:

Master's Degree (MHSA)
Foundation Requirements (66 Credits)

  • Foundation I – Basic Science of Medicine & Clinical Immersion:
    • Human Form & Function: Pharmacology for Anesthesia (4 Credits)
    • Human Form & Function: Human Physiology (4 Credits)
    • Human Form & Function: Clinical Anatomy (4 Credits)
    • Physics for Clinical Science (3 Credits)
    • Health Policy, Law & the Business of Medicine (3 Credits)
    • Basic Technical Skills of the Anesthetist (3 Credits)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination I & II (2 Credits)
    • Technology & Monitoring in Anesthesia (3 Credits)
    • Cardiac Electrophysiology (2 Credits)
    • Patient Evaluation & Physical Assessment (3 Credits)
    • Themes in Anesthesia I: Professionalism & Servant Leadership (1 Credit)
    • Foundations of Clinical Anesthesia (3 Credits)
    • Clinical Practicum I (4 Credits)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination III (1 Credit)
    • Themes in Anesthesia II: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (1 Credit)
  • Foundation II – Foundation of Anesthesia
    • Pathophysiology & Disease Processes (3 Credits)
    • Applied Physiology for Anesthesia (3 Credits)
    • Anesthesia & Co-Existing Diseases (3 Credits)
    • Anesthesia Principles & Practices (3 Credits)
    • Health Care Quality Improvement (2 Credits)
    • Patient Optimization & Advanced Technical Skills (3 Credits)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination IV & V (2 Credits)
    • Themes in Anesthesia III: Specialities of Anesthesiology (1 Credit)
    • Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (2 Credits)
    • Anesthesia Non-Technical Skills (3 Credits)
Integrative Requirements (43 Credits)

  • Integrative I – Clinical Practicum & Anesthesia Specialty Care I:
    • Clinical Practicum II (7 Credits)
    • Context Appropriate Simulation Training I (1 Credit)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination VI & VII (2 Credits)
    • Research Methods & Biostatistics (3 Credits)
    • Clinical Practicum III (6 Credits)
    • Context Appropriate Simulation Training II (1 Credit)
    • Professional, Ethical & Legal Concepts in Anesthesia (1 Credit)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination VIII (1 Credit)
    • Capstone Project I (2 Credit)
  • Integrative II – Anesthesia Specialty Care II & Transition to Practice
    • Clinical Practicum IV (6 Credits)
    • Comprehensive Competency Examination IX (1 Credit)
    • Themes in Healthcare & Anesthesiology I (1 Credit)
    • Capstone Project II (2 Credits)
    • Clinical Practicum V (6 Credits)
    • Certification Exam Preparation (2 Credit)
    • Themes in Healthcare & Anesthesiology II: Transition to Practice (1 Credit)
Total Credits: 109

Student Loans or Planning for the Future?

Take a look at the top 3 salary review sites for a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant: Salary Analysis Salary Analysis Salary Analysis

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Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor

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