Anesthesiologists play an important role in a variety of surgical procedures, as they are responsible for carefully administering general or local anesthetics to patients while monitoring them closely. When using general anesthetics, they must carefully watch all vital signs at all times and communicate this information to the surgeon; for localized anesthetics, they must maintain communication with patients and monitor their comfort levels throughout what are typically out-patient procedures.
Most general anesthetics are now administered to patients through an existing IV tube. Just before surgical procedures, anesthesiologists will begin to carefully add the sleep-inducing drugs to the IV solution, and throughout surgery they will carefully monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. In some cases, they may continue to introduce anesthetics to maintain the patient's unconsciousness. Throughout the procedure, they must also carefully watch the body of the patient to ensure that he/she remains perfectly still.
When administering a local anesthetic, an anesthesiologist's job is to find the proper position on the affected area for surgery and carefully numb all nerve endings within that area. This is typically done with an injection, but the anesthesiologist must carefully find the proper site and may need to administer more than one shot for full effects. As the procedure continues, the anesthesiologist stays in contact with the patient and and monitors discomfort levels through this feedback and visual observation.
Anesthesiologists are licensed and certified physicians, and this career field has the same rigorous training requirements in undergraduate studies, medical school, and residency as many other physician specialties. They work primarily on complex and lengthy surgeries which require precision and experience, and typically work daytime hours unless practicing at a hospital with more extensive surgical hours.
Administer anesthetic during medical procedures, and monitor the patient to ensure correct dosage.
Confer with physicians or surgeons to determine post-procedure condition of patient.
Record type and amount of anesthesia administered, as well as any adverse reactions.