The Anesthesia Care Team
Going into surgery, patients often don’t realize the essential role the anesthesiologist and the Anesthesia Care Team plays in making sure that operations go smoothly and safely.
The Anesthesia Care Team is made up of physicians and nonphysicians, including physician anesthesiologists, anesthesiology resident physicians, anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists. Each team member has an important role. They work together to provide the optimal care for patients.
The physician anesthesiologist generally leads the team and has 12 years to 14 years of education and 12,000 hours to 16,000 hours of clinical training, which is needed to effectively evaluate a patient’s medical condition, recommend an appropriate anesthesia plan, diagnose and treat problems that might surface during a procedure and follow through with the patient post-procedure. The physician anesthesiologist may delegate patient monitoring and appropriate tasks to anesthesiologist assistants and nurse anesthetists but retains overall responsibility for the patient.