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Can you imagine the pain you would feel if you had your appendix removed without the benefit of pain-killing medications? Gratefully, most of us will never have to know the intensity of that pain because we have the Anesthesiologist to numb us up.
As an Anesthesiologist, your relationship with your patient typically starts with a preoperative interview. At this meeting, you record their medical history, find out about their preferences, and identify any allergies. Once the patient is prepped for surgery, the Anesthesiologist is one of the first in the operating room. You insert an IV or give a mask, and begin to put the patient under.
Typically, you stay with the patient through surgery and into the recovery process. There are a variety of things that can go wrong during this time, so you constantly monitor the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing. You also watch for signs of awakening or pain, and make adjustments to the anesthesia as needed.
Outside of surgery, you work with patients who suffer from chronic pain. But of course, you don’t use general anesthesia. Rather, you work with medications that result in local or regional numbness. You might also work in labor and delivery, using pain blockers during childbirth.
Whatever the task, you are a key part of the medical team. You work with Nurses, Doctors, and specialists to provide the pain management portion of their care. Without you, patients would have to go back to using whiskey and a biting block.