Last Updated on January 18, 2023
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Average Anesthesiologist Salary in Saudi Arabia
Anesthesiologists play an important role in a variety of surgical procedures, as they are responsible for carefully administering general or local anesthetics to patients while monitoring them closely. When using general anesthetics, they must carefully watch all vital signs at all times and communicate this information to the surgeon; for localized anesthetics, they must maintain communication with patients and monitor their comfort levels throughout what are typically out-patient procedures.
Most general anesthetics are now administered to patients through an existing IV tube. Just before surgical procedures, anesthesiologists will begin to carefully add the sleep-inducing drugs to the IV solution, and throughout surgery they will carefully monitor vital signs, such as heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. In some cases, they may continue to introduce anesthetics to maintain the patient’s unconsciousness. Throughout the procedure, they must also carefully watch the body of the patient to ensure that he/she remains perfectly still.
When administering a local anesthetic, an anesthesiologist’s job is to find the proper position on the affected area for surgery and carefully numb all nerve endings
within that area. This is typically done with an injection, but the anesthesiologist must carefully find the proper site and may need to administer more than one shot for full effects. As the procedure continues, the anesthesiologist stays in contact with the patient and and monitors discomfort levels through this feedback and visual observation.
Anesthesiologists are licensed and certified physicians, and this career field has the same rigorous training requirements in undergraduate studies, medical school, and residency as many other physician specialties. They work primarily on complex and lengthy surgeries which require precision and experience, and typically work daytime hours unless practicing at a hospital with more extensive surgical hours.…Read lessAnesthesiologist Tasks
- Administer anesthetic during medical procedures, and monitor the patient to ensure correct dosage.
- Confer with physicians or surgeons to determine post-procedure condition of patient.
- Record type and amount of anesthesia administered, as well as any adverse reactions.
What do anesthesiologists do?
An anesthesiologist is a doctor who gives a patient medication so they do not feel pain when they are undergoing surgery.
However, these specialist physicians play a much wider role than just putting people to sleep for surgery.
They are also involved in a range of other medical procedures, including carrying out assessments in critical care units, dealing with emergency situations, and giving advice about pain management.
Anesthesiology is defined by the American Society of Anesthesiologists as: “The practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of the surgical patient before, during and after surgery.”
Anesthesiologists are involved in around 90 percent of the more than 40 million surgical procedures that are carried out under anesthetic each year in the United States.
This involvement may include direct care of the patient or supervision of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) or Anesthesia Assistants, who also play a key role in the field.
In 2016, there were over 30,000 anesthesiologists employed in the US and many more who were self-employed.
What do anesthesiologists do?
The anesthesiologist provides pain relief before, during and after surgery, but they also fulfill a number of other important roles.
Pain relief in surgery
Before an operation, a patient will meet with the anesthesiologist for an evaluation. The anesthesiologist will make a plan for the operation that takes into account the individual needs of the patient.
On the day of the operation, the anesthesiologist supervises the administration of medication so that the patient will not experience pain.
However, the anesthesiologist does not physically provide most anesthetics. They supervise either a CRNA or Anesthesia Assistant while they provide the anesthetic. CRNAs often work independently without supervision as well.
The type of pain relief offered during surgery may be:
General anesthesia: The patient “goes to sleep” while the operation lasts.
Sedation: Intravenous drugs calm the patient or make them unaware of the procedure.
Regional anesthesia: Local anesthetic is injected near the nerves to numb the area that will be operated. These may be nerve blocks or spinal or epidural injections.
During the procedure, the surgeon carries out the surgical work, but the anesthesiologist will continue to be responsible for the medical management of the patient.
They monitor the patient’s bodily functions, assess the best way to treat the vital organs, and provide a balance of medications suited to the individual’s needs.
The functions they need to monitor include:
- heart rate and rhythm
- blood pressure
- body temperature
- fluid balance
The anesthesiologist controls these vital measures and the patient’s level of pain and unconsciousness throughout the operation.
After the procedure, the anesthesiologist continues to be responsible for the patient’s overall care. They will reverse the effects of the anesthesia and continue to evaluate the patient and keep them comfortable as they recover.
During this process, the anesthesiologist will direct other health workers, including specialist nurses.
Critical and emergency care and other roles
The anesthesiologist also plays a key role in critical care and treatment and trauma. They assess patients, make diagnoses, provide support for breathing and circulation, and help to ensure that infection is prevented.
Anesthesiologists are also qualified to contribute to emergency medicine, providing airway and cardiac resuscitation and support and advanced life support, as well as pain control. They help stabilize patients and prepare them for surgery.
Some anesthesiologists will seek additional training and qualifications to specialize in pain medicine and critical care.
Every anesthesiologist is trained to support surgical intervention, but many also specialize in particular areas.
- cardiac anesthesia, for heart surgery
- pediatric anesthesia, for pain management and anesthetics in children
- neuroanesthesia, related to surgery for the nervous system, brain, and spinal cord
- obstetrics, offering pain relief during labor and delivery
Other areas of medical care include pediatric anesthesia (pain management and anesthetics in children), care of the dying in hospice, and palliative care.
Pain control and advice
An anesthesiologist who specializes in pain medicine may assist patients who have pain due to a range of causes, including headaches, burns, diabetes and herpes, or where they are experiencing chest pain, abdominal, pain pelvic pain, and so on.
Their role in this field includes:
- treating the patient
- prescribing medication and rehabilitative services
- performing pain-relieving procedures
- counseling patients and families
They may also direct a multidisciplinary team, coordinate other health care professionals, and act as a consultant about the best way to deliver care to patients who have pain.
Anesthesiologists who work in critical care are sometimes known as intensivists.
The anesthesiologist-intensivist helps with diagnosing and managing disorders that affect all body systems, whether to do with circulation, digestion, the kidneys, the nervous system, or any other system.
Anesthesiologists working in critical care are also qualified to help when a patient is unconscious, whatever the reason.
This involves coordinating the overall medical management of a patient and coordinating with a range of medical professionals and possibly also the patient’s family and friends.
Anesthesiologists are involved in maternity units, where they administer pain relief and assist if complications arise.
A midwife can give some kinds of pain relief medication, but if this is insufficient, the anesthesiologists can administer stronger medicines intravenously (IV).
An epidural supplies anesthetic medicines to the lower back to reduce the pain felt from contractions.
If a cesarean section is needed, stronger anesthetics can be given in the same location, to numb the lower body completely for surgery.
If severe complications arise, the anesthesiologist may need to provide a general anesthesia.
The anesthesiologist can provide or supervise the administration of medications such as morphine, fentanyl, and others.
The patient may be given control of their pain management, under the anesthesiologist’s supervision. They may be given an infusion pump that delivers additional analgesic medication whenever the patient presses the button.
What is the career outlook?
Overall employment of physicians and surgeons is projected to grow 4 percent from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Prospects should be especially good for anesthesiologists who are willing to practice in rural and low-income areas because these areas tend to have difficulty attracting physicians.