Who are Anaesthetists ?
To become a specialist anaesthetist in Australia requires:
- 5 years at university to achieve a medical degree
- 8-10 years of hospital based training in anaesthesia, intensive care and other relevant areas of medicine (e.g. emergency medicine) under the guidance of the Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, which includes having to pass two extremely stringent professional examinations.
The standard of training in Australia is very high. This training places anaesthetists in the unique position of being able to provide many aspects of modern medical care, which includes :
- Intensive care medicine
- Anaesthesia for babies and children
- Pain relief during labour
- Anaesthesia for delivering babies e.g. by caesarean section
- The treatment of long-term pain conditions
- Anaesthesia for emergency, brain and heart surgery
- Transferring sick, and often unconscious, patients between hospitals, cities and countries
"Patient safety is central to everything that anaesthetists do"
Your anaesthetist is responsible for:
- Assessing your health and advising you on the most suitable anaesthetic for your procedure.
- Administering your anaesthetic and ensuring your safety during the procedure. They use modern monitoring equipment to assess your condition continuously throughout your procedure and give you drugs and fluids to keep you safe and well.
- Planning your pain relief and making sure that you are as comfortable, nausea free and healthy as possible after your procedure.
- Looking after you in the intensive care or high dependency unit if your care requires it.
Modern anaesthetists are trained in the use of some of the most sophisticated equipment in medicine – to assess, assist or control breathing, heart function and the circulation during anaesthesia.