Tap to Read ➤

Anesthesiologist Job Description

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
An anesthesiologist is a medical practitioner who is a physician and who administers anesthetics during any surgery or other medical procedures. Read on you will get to know more about anesthesiology as a career, an anesthesiologist's job description and answers to all your queries.
An anesthesiologist, a very important person before, during and after surgeries, works towards relieving the patient's pain. With the advanced medical science and medical procedures to cure illnesses and deceases, the need for responsible anesthesiologist is ever-increasing and felt by patients and surgeons.

Establishment of Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology was established as a medical field, after the discovery of nitrous oxide, also known as, laughing gas by Humphry Davy in the 1800's. Humphry Davy found during his experiments, that toothache was relieved and generalized giddiness was caused due to the administration of this gas.
This gas, instead of being used for medical purposes, was being used as a form of entertainment and fun. Physicians finally found the gas to be a useful substance to help relieve and managing pain. There was extensive research conducted and this leads to the development of the field of anesthesiology.

Who Is an Anesthesiologist

An anesthesiologist is a medical practitioner who focuses on reliving pain and taking total care of surgical patients during and after surgery and other medical procedures. He/she can choose to work in hospitals, outpatient clinics and along with a patient care team.
  • The job includes administering anesthetics to prevent the patients from feeling pain during the surgeries.
  • He/she also monitors vital signs of patients during surgery or medical procedure and carries out the necessary adjustments.
  • It involves monitoring the patient through the initial recovery stage and administer drugs and medications that are essential during recovery.
  • The job description is not limited to the surgical room. They also help in pain management, to patients suffering from chronic pain such as respiratory and neurological illnesses.
  • He/she also needs to discuss with physicians and medical professionals, regarding the type and method of anesthetics to be administered to the patient.
  • This job also involves the examination of the patient before the surgery, getting her medical history and determining the risk involved during surgery or medical procedures.
  • Recording the amount of anesthesia administered and the condition of the patient is also a part of this job.
  • He/she positions the patient on the operating table to provide maximum comfort and providing surgical accessibility to both the patient and the surgeon.
  • It also involves providing and maintaining life support and airway management during an emergency. He/she also helps prepare a patient before an emergency surgery.
  • He/she should know how to administer three types of anesthesia. This includes general, local as well as regional. While the general anesthesia makes the patient lose consciousness; the local makes the particular part of the body numb; and regional makes the entire body numb.

Education Requirements

It includes completing the requirements that are necessary for becoming a doctor. You need a 4 year degree in a science or pre-med field. You need to complete medical school and 3 to 8 years residency or internship in general medicine.
Pre-med students need to have an undergraduate knowledge in Physics, Biology, Mathematics and inorganic and organic Chemistry.
You also need to complete an accredited program in anesthesiology. During the residency program, you can work towards obtaining certification from the American Board of Anesthesiology or the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Anesthesiologists are regulated in the 50 states and U.S. Territories. You can become a credentialed and licensed anesthesiologist through the given procedure:
  • One needs to fulfill the required amount of training and/or degree from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy.
  • Successful completion of an accredited program of anesthesiology.
  • One needs to pass a national exam.
  • And lastly, one needs to apply for license in the state where one is going to practice in.

Skills Required

  • An anesthesiologist job requires having the ability to make quick and correct judgments. Considering the risks involved, one needs to have the focus and ability for crucial decision-making.
  • He/she needs to be a good listener and understand what people are saying. This is very important as even a minor point missed may prove to be life-threatening during surgery.
  • Proper knowledge and skill to operate the equipment and systems inhervolved during the procedure.
  • Good reading and comprehension skills are important to understand work related documents.


The salary range varies according to the geographic region, experience and sub-specialty. As per certain websites, anesthesiologists in Los Angeles have the highest median annual salary at US $270,040. The minimum starting salary is around US $100,000.
The locum tenens salary range can vary from about US $55 per hour for Family Medicine Physician to US $165 per hour for a Psychiatrist. They can earn about US $5,033 per week on an average per assignment. They also have the benefit of traveling, practicing in different settings and having a flexible schedule.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Like every doctor, an anesthesiologist also requires a qualified and experienced nurse to help him during a procedure. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is a nurse who has specialized in anesthesia administration.
These nurses are advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who have completed their graduate-level education as well as board certification in anesthesia. They can practice individually or under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. They work in public and private settings. A nurse anesthesiologist can earn about $140,803 annually.
She may have to work in emergency situations like handling victims and patients of heart attack, shock, drug overdoses, traumatic injuries, etc. requiring immediate medical care. She needs to be a team player as he will be working with surgeons, nurses and other medical practitioners. She needs to be intelligent and with a lot of patience and perseverance.
Good manners, communication skills, ability to handle anxious patients and remaining calm with stressed out surgeons, are very important personal skills required in an anesthesiologist.
She should be able to maintain a level head and should be able to concentrate during long and critical surgical procedures. If this job description fits your medical career plans, then start working hard towards a fulfilling and successful career as an anesthesiologist.