Anesthesiologists are doctors who administer the drugs or gases that prevent patients from feeling any pain or sensation during surgery. They are also responsible for the well-being of the patient before, during, and after surgery so that the surgeon is free to concentrate on the actual surgical procedure. In the operating room, anesthesiologists work as part of a team which includes nurses and surgeons.
Some Anesthesiologists develop an expertise in the use of anesthetics to treat patients with chronic or ongoing pain. These Anesthesiologists work in pain management centres in hospitals or in specialty clinics devoted to pain management. They often work as part of a team with other professionals such as physiotherapists and psychologists to find ways of lessening pain.
An Exciting Field of Work
In general, Anesthesiologists:
- Meets with the patient to assess the patient's medical history prior to surgery, examine the patient if necessary, and decide what anesthetic should be used
- Monitors the patient's blood pressure and heart rate and administers the anesthetic which may be general or regional
- Inserts an intravenous line (I.V.) to administer additional fluids such as special sugar and salt solutions
- Monitor and observe changes in the patient's vital signs such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure during surgery
- If necessary, respond to any emergencies or unexpected developments that take place during surgery
- Ensure that the patient awakens from anesthesia safely after surgery and prescribe pain-relieving medication in the period following surgery, if necessary
Personal Characteristics / Skills
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent listening skills and ability to calm patients while eliciting important information
- Good manual dexterity and attention to details
- Ability to insert lines and tubes into a patient's body accurately and quickly
- Emotional strength and maturity
- Ability to make decisions in emergencies
- Willingness to keep up to date with new developments in medicine
Education and Training
A Bachelor of Science and a Medical Doctor (MD) degree followed by an anesthesiology residency program is required.
Education program offered in New Brunswick
Medical Education programs are offered in New Brunswick by the following educational institutions:
- Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick (DMNB) – English program
- Centre de formation médicale du Nouveau-Brunswick – French program
Length of Study / Training
12.0 - 13.0 years
Licence and certification
To practice in New Brunswick, Anesthesiologists must be licensed with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick.
Helpful High School Courses
Employment and Common Working Conditions
Anesthesiologists work in a variety of settings, such as:
- Pain treatment centres
Anesthesiologists working hours may vary depending on the work setting. Anesthesiologists may spend part of their day in the office doing consultations, part of it seeing patients in the hospital, and part of it in the operating room. Sometimes, if they are anesthetizing patients who are having complex surgeries, they may have to spend as many as eight hours in an operating room. Anesthesiologists who work in hospitals may have to work long hours including evenings, weekend and being on call.
Employment Prospects - GOOD
Our aging population implies that employment prospect in this field will remain good.