Columbia State Develops Anesthesia Tech Program, Welcomes new Director

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. Feb. 22, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College is pleased to announce the launch of the new Anesthesia Technology program, which will be the first program of its kind in Tennessee. Sue Christian, a certified anesthesia technologist, has been named as the director of the program.

The application process is in progress with the intent of Columbia State becoming the third Anesthesia Technology program to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs in the nation. 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.

“The Anesthesia Technology program offers learners who come to Columbia State another excellent option for a rewarding and satisfying career,” said Dr. Kae Fleming, Columbia State dean of the Health Sciences Division. “Columbia State intends to join an elite group of institutions which offer a specialized program that meets and exceeds the requirements for national accreditation and credentialing exam eligibility in Anesthesia Technology.”

Christian continues to work as a manager and educator for the anesthesiology department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She explained that Anesthesia Technology programs are scarce in the country because the profession has historically been learned through on-the-job training.

“Access to certified anesthesia techs is extremely limited in Tennessee,” Christian said. “With the advancement in technology, it is challenging to train staff to support the equipment on-the-job.”

Christian started the initiative to reach out to colleges in Middle Tennessee to start an anesthesia tech program – Columbia State accepted the challenge, and brought Christian on as the director. She said that since teaching was a part of her job at Vanderbilt, taking the position as director seemed like a natural flow.

“Columbia State is excited to have Sue Christian to provide leadership in launching the Anesthesia Technology program in response to an expressed need in the medical community,” Fleming said. “Sue brings an intimate knowledge of the programmatic accreditation process and the demands of the anesthesia community for skilled, qualified professionals prepared to enter the workforce and provide excellent patient care.”

Christian, has a rich background in anesthesia technology – she worked in anesthesiology at St. Joseph’s and Central Baptist in Lexington, Kentucky before being recruited by the Vanderbilt Anesthesiology Department in 2004. She earned her bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from St. Francis University.

The Wyoming, Pennsylvania native currently resides in Murfreesboro. She is a two-time past president of the American Society of Anesthesia Technologist and Technicians and has held several other leadership positions in the organization.

Courses will be offered on the Williamson Campus with core courses beginning summer 2018. For additional information or application details concerning the Anesthesia Technology program, contact the Health Sciences Division at or visit

sue christian
Photo Caption: Sue Christian, Certified A.T.T. and Columbia State Anesthesia Technology program director.

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