Doctors specializing in peri-operative care, development of an anaesthetic plan and the administration of anaesthetics are known in the United States as Anaesthesiologists. In the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada they are known as Anaesthetists. In the United Kingdom, Specialist Anaesthetic training is a minimum of seven years, following the achievement of the primary medical degree and two years of basic residency, under the supervision of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. In Australia and New Zealand, it is, five years following the achievement of the primary medical degree and two years of basic residency, under the supervision of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.
The Anaesthetists Role
Equally as important as the surgeon, the Anaesthetist plays a critical role in the success of the operation. Before the operation, the Anaesthetist will talk to the patient and discuss the anaesthetic to be administered. The Anaesthetist will gather information with regard to the patient’s medical history to determine the appropriate anaesthetics to be administered. During the operation:
- The Anaesthetist will be there the whole time to monitor the patient’s vital signs and deep of anaesthesia
- If needed, they will vary the anaesthetic appropriately to keep the patient unconscious and safe until the operation has been completed.
- The Anaesthetist also monitors the patient’s blood loss, administer fluids and other medications during the procedure.
The role of the Anaesthetist may continue after the operation to make sure that the patient feels comfortable.
Your anaesthetist will care for you continuously during the operation. Usually you would receive an injection in your hand or arm. There are other techniques like epidurals, spinals or locals which would have been discussed at your pre anaesthetic assessment. A number of special machines called monitors will be attached to you just prior to the commencement of anaesthesia. These monitors will remain on you for the duration of the procedure and assist in making sure your anaesthetic goes smoothly. Following your procedure you will be transferred to the recovery room, which is part of the operating theatre area.