A Brief Overview
Australia is currently divided into four Regional Associations and the Australasian Society of Anaesthesia Paramedical Officers (ASAPO) is the governing body of these regions. We also have representatives from the newly formed New Zealand Association of Anaesthetic Technicians and Nurses (NZAATN).
ASAPO was conceptualised in 1994 as the Australasian Society of Anaesthesia Technicians (ASAT) when a steering committee representing all regions was formed. The final governing authority came about in 1999 in Perth where there was consensus from all regions resulting in the signing of a common Constitution. All regions work from their own Constitution but have agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics as published by the Society. All regions have similar aims and objectives. ASAPO consists of all members from each region and currently has twelve members acting as the Management Committee, plus a Defence Force Representative. The Executive consists of two members from each region with an additional committee member endorsed as the Registrar of the Society. The regions are Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand.
The successes of ASAPO are a reflection of the commitment of the original steering committee that convened the first meeting and created the concept of ASAT, now known as ASAPO.
In recent times the Society has undertaken the mammoth task of obtaining information from each region about:
the number of members
the qualifications accepted
who has undertaken training
what courses are available, and
the development of nationally recognised training through the Health
This has been the most expansive and thorough study to date in Australia to ascertain the depth and breadth of qualified "Assistants to the Anaesthetists".
In November 2002 the Society changed its name to reflect the dynamic changes occurring in our profession.
Where to from here?
ASAPO will continue to develop the national course and postgraduate courses for both technicians and assistants.
Work is underway in the establishment of a technicians' and assistants' Voluntary Registration process to protect the patients we care for. We will continue to work with all disciplines in the development of our profession.
Code of Ethics
All members of the Society are required to abide by the following Code of Ethics which has been promulgated not only for the benefit of the members, but also for the protection of the patient.
Carry out duties with skill, care and judgment in such a way as to promote and protect the rights and wellbeing of the patient.
Confidentiality for the patient shall be respected and maintained at all times.
Be aware of the value for all professional persons associated with the provision of patient care.
Recognise any limitations of competence and never undertake delegated tasks without first receiving instruction, which will facilitate the duties to be carried out in a professional and capable manner.
Endeavor to achieve and maintain a high standard of knowledge and to impart such knowledge to fellow members.
Afford and maintain a high standard of care to patients suffering ill health due to communicable disease, in accordance with local policy.
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