An Overview of AnaesthesiologyAn Overview of Anaesthesiology

Anaesthesiology refers to a medicinal practice which is meant to give pain relief to patients before, in the course of, and after a surgery, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Such involvement could include supervision of CRNAs or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetics/ Anesthesia Assistants. So, anaesthesiology is the branch of medicine that deals with anesthetics and anesthesia.

Today, this field has come to mean a professional who works like a peri-operative consultant. So, anaesthesiology goes beyond simply making an individual numb to pain for a surgery to take place. Anaesthesiologists are involved in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, offering their expertise and care in different settings like the OR, radiology, endoscopy suite, electrophysiology labs, ICU, etc. These professionals also perform many administrative functions before surgery. They are involved in teaching in different schools of medicine.

What are the different types of anesthetic procedures?

In any surgery or medical procedure, anaesthesia can be of 3 main types, namely, general, regional, and local. In general anaesthesia, the patient is made unconscious so that he cannot feel anything at all. In regional anaesthesia, the anesthesiologist injects into a bunch of nerves in order to numb only that part of the body needing surgery. The patient can be administered a sedative or he can stay awake during the procedure. The most common types of regional anaesthesia are epidural and spinal anaesthesia. In local anaesthesia, the drug is injected into the tissue for numbing a place in the body that needs only minor surgery.

How can you become an anaesthesiologist?

To become an anaesthesiologist, the anaesthesiologist needs to finish 4 years of med school, acquire research experience, and advanced degrees like a PhD. Following this, he needs to complete his residency in internal medicine, transitional medicine, or surgery. After residency which spans across 4 years, the anaesthesiologist may pursue fellow specialty training in different fields like pediatric anaesthesiology, obstetric anesthesiology, cardiothoracic anaesthesiology, etc.

What work does an anaesthesiologist perform?

The anaesthesiologist will evaluate a patient prior to operation and make a plan for him catering to his specific needs. On the surgery day, he supervises medicine administration to ensure the patient feels no pain. Usually, it is the CRNAs or Anaesthesia Assistants who give the medicine while the anaesthesiologist supervises the process. While the surgery is on, it is the surgeon who does the surgical task while the anesthesiologist is responsible for the patient’s medical management. He will have to monitor the patient’s body functions, and evaluate the best methods to treat his vital organs. He monitors breathing, heart beat and heart rate, blood pressure, fluid balance, and body temperature.

Once surgery is over, he remains responsible for the overcall care of the patient. He will reverse the anaesthesia’s effects and keep checking on the patient to make sure he recovers fully and is comfortable. The anaesthesiologist also works in critical care and trauma by assessing patients, diagnosing their conditions, arranging for proper breathing, and making sure that infections are prevented.

Anaesthesiologists can also contribute where emergency medicine is concerned by providing advanced life support, cardiac resuscitation, and pain control. Those specializing in pain medicines will help patients experiencing different conditions like pelvic pain, headache, diabetes, herpes, burns, chest pain, etc. They can be part of maternity units wherein they must provide pain relief when complications arise. For example, an epidural will inject anesthetic drugs to the patient’s lower back for alleviating pain from contractions.