When a patient undergoes surgery, he or she is under the care of medical professionals that administer anesthesia. Anesthesia is a medication that causes the patient to become unconscious so that he or she feels no pain while the surgery is performed. Medical professionals can choose to work in two main types of anesthesiology jobs.
The primary job in anesthesiology is called an anesthesiologist. The second job a person can find in this field is called a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Both medical professionals work together to ensure that the patient remains comfortable and safe during the operation.
Health care professionals who work in anesthesiology jobs are responsible for controlling the vital functions of patients. They must monitor functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, and body temperature during a surgery. These professionals work closely with other surgeons to ensure that the patient is free of pain as an operation is performed.
A future anesthesiologist must attend four years of college before entering a four-year postgraduate program to become a medical doctor. Following graduation from medical school, he or she enters a four-year residency program that leads to licensing as an anesthesiologist. He or she can then begin working in the anesthesiology field.
A certified registered nurse anesthetist often works under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. Anyone who aspires to become CRNA usually holds a bachelor of science in nursing. The candidate must be a registered nurse and have at least one year of nursing experience in an acute care environment. After completing a master's degree in nurse anesthesia, the nurse must pass a national certification exam. Only then can the CRNA become a practicing nurse anesthetist.
When a hospital does not have an anesthesiologist on staff, a CRNA is authorized to perform the same important job. Both medical professionals have been trained to administer anesthesia, and both are trusted members of any medical facility. In fact, hospitals in rural areas often employ the services of a nurse anesthetist to perform the responsibilities of an anesthesiologist.
Health care workers who work in anesthesiology jobs use three primary types of anesthesia: local, regional, and general anesthesia. Local anesthesia is injected into the skin to numb a small specific area. Regional anesthesia is injected into a group of nerves to numb a larger part of the body. Finally, general anesthesia is used to make a patient completely unconscious. One or a combination of methods may be used for patients.
Physicians and nurses who work in anesthesiology jobs are required to work with patients and other medical professionals on a daily basis. They must be adept at listening to patients' fears as most people are nervous about undergoing surgery. CRNAs and anesthesiologists are responsible for learning about patients' medical histories and current medications before administering anesthesia. They must also be patient and considerate as they discuss upcoming surgical procedures with patients. This involves informing patients about what to expect before, during, and after the administering of anesthesia.