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What Does an Anesthetist Do?

Overall, anesthetists, also known as anesthesiologists, are responsible for administering one of three different types of anesthesia to patients undergoing specific procedures that require numbing. It is critical to note that an anesthesiologist doesn’t merely assess the safety of anesthesia before, during, and after surgery, but also assesses the combined risk of anesthesia and the planned operation.

Types of anesthesia

  • Regional anesthetic – Regional anesthetic numbs a specific portion of the body. Cesarean sections are done with a regional anesthetic.
  • Local anesthetic – A local anesthetic blocks sensations in small areas. Dentists use local anesthesia when numbing a jaw or gums.
  • General anesthetic – A general anesthetic renders the patient unconscious.

An anesthesiologist in an operating room administers the anesthetic and is responsible for the ongoing, and overall well being of the patient throughout the operation. For example, after putting a patient to sleep, the anesthetist correctly positions the patient for the operation. Proper positioning provides the best visualization of, and access to, the surgical site while minimizing any physiological challenges to the patient. Positioning must also protect the patient’s skin and joints. During training, an anesthesiologist learns standard positioning practices that effectively reduce the chances of patient complications related to positioning.