(a)        Any person who is licensed to provide anesthesia services as an assistant to an anesthesiologist licensed under Article 1 of this Chapter may use the title “anesthesiologist assistant.” Any other person who uses the title in any form or holds himself or herself out to be an anesthesiologist assistant or to be so licensed without first obtaining a license shall be deemed in violation of this Article. A student in any anesthesiologist assistant training program shall be identified as a “student anesthesiologist assistant” or an “anesthesiologist assistant student,” but under no circumstances shall the student use or permit to be used on the student’s behalf the terms “intern,” “resident,” or “fellow.”

(b)        Anesthesiologist assistants are authorized to provide anesthesia services under the supervision of an anesthesiologist licensed under Article 1 of this Chapter under the following conditions:

(1)        The North Carolina Medical Board has adopted rules governing the provision of anesthesia services by an anesthesiologist assistant consistent with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section.

(2)        The anesthesiologist assistant holds a current license issued by the Board or is a student anesthesiologist assistant participating in a training program leading to certification by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants and licensure as an anesthesiologist assistant under G.S. 90-9.4.

(c)        The North Carolina Medical Board shall adopt rules to implement this section that include requirements and limitations on the provision of anesthesia services by an anesthesiologist assistant as determined by the Board to be in the best interests of patient health and safety. Rules adopted by the Board pursuant to this section shall include the following requirements:

(1)        That an anesthesiologist assistant be supervised by an anesthesiologist licensed under this Article who is actively engaged in clinical practice and immediately available on-site to provide assistance to the anesthesiologist assistant.

(2)        That an anesthesiologist may supervise no more than two anesthesiologist assistants or student anesthesiologist assistants at one time. The limitation on the number of anesthesiologist assistants and student anesthesiologist assistants that an anesthesiologist may supervise in no way restricts the number of other qualified anesthesia providers an anesthesiologist may concurrently supervise. After January 1, 2010, the Board may allow an anesthesiologist to supervise up to four licensed anesthesiologist assistants concurrently and may revise the supervision limitations of student anesthesiologist assistants such that the supervision requirements for student anesthesiologist assistants are similar to the supervision requirements for student nurse anesthetists.

(3)        That anesthesiologist assistants comply with all continuing education requirements and recertification requirements of the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants or its successor organization.

(d)       Nothing in this section shall limit or expand the scope of practice of physician assistants under existing law.  (2007-146, s. 4; 2008-187, s. 14.)