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Anesthesiologist by Tiffany Thai
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Anesthesiologist by Tiffany Thai
When faced with a planned surgery, one would think about the possible pain experienced during the operation. However, what they might not know yet is that the anesthesiologist is in charge of preventing discomfort while surgeons do their job. Without them many surgeries would not run as smoothly, since anesthesiologists also watch over the patient's life functions and use anesthetics that make the patient lose consciousness and that also numb their bodies before operation. Can you imagine a world without pain relievers or going through a surgery without being numbed? That is why anesthesiologists play an important role in the hospital community and their patients' lives. The path of an anesthesiologist is definitely not an easy one as they will have to go through years of training/schooling and keep up with latest advancements in their field. Though the road is difficult, the outcome is great as many believe there will be an increase in demand in future years and the salary at the end of the day is not something to overlook.

The overall duty of an anesthesiologist is to monitor surgical patients and provide the appropriate medication (otherwise known as anesthetics) to prevent them from feeling any unpleasantness. Anesthesiologists must first look over their patient's past medical records and after careful deduction will discuss possible methods of treatment (Samano 2011, [1]). During the patient's operation, the anesthesiologist is responsible for ascertaining their patient's life organs such as their brain and kidney functions are working properly while adjusting the amount of anesthetics according to the need of the patient. Afterwards, the patient may be given more medication which is used to wake them and is then moved to the recovery room. Here they will be under the special care of nurses until their anesthesiologist believes they have recovered enough to leave (Anonymous 2011d, [3]).

Anesthesiologists use three primary anesthesia during surgery which are categorized under: general, regional and local. General anesthesia is typically in the form of gases or vapors and is used to put the patient into a deep sleep and unfeeling state while being worked upon. These anesthetics are taken through masks or breathing tubes. As their names suggest, regional anesthesia numbs a large part of the body while local anesthesia is used for a certain part of the body; both are given through injections. Additionally, patients given regional/local anesthetics are usually given added sedatives to calm the body during operation (Anonymous 2011d, [4]).

The common workplace of an anesthesiologist is a hospital, specifically the emergency rooms where they will work with a variety of patients. An anesthesiologist must set time boundaries so that each and every one of his/her patients will be under divided attention (Samano 2011, [2]). Since their work involves a patient's life at hand, they must be able to cope under pressure to be able to do what is needed. They also need to have good communication skills as to provide important information on their patients to their coworkers (Newton 2011, [3]). Anesthesiologists work many hours in a week and currently one out of every three already work sixty hours or more (Brewer 2004, [1]).

A profession in anesthesiology is not a simple one as it requires patience, years of intense study and training, long work hours and an effort to balance work life with personal life. The path towards becoming an anesthesiologist can start as early as high school-classes such as biology, chemistry, physics and calculus can prove beneficial (Anonymous 2000a, [2]). Before applying to medical school, an undergraduate degree is needed along with their score from the Medical College Admissions Test (a.k.a. MCAT) which is used to evaluate them alongside other hopeful medical students. However the essential classes that need to be taken during college are general chemistry, organic chemistry, biological science, general physics, English course work and math. The next step that needs to be accomplished is taking four years of medical school which will grant them a Doctor of Medicine degree. Following this they will need to enroll in a residency program for four years where they will be paid approximately fifty thousand annually (Girad 2010, [1]). On top of this, anesthesiologists must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination or Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Exam to earn their licenses (Farnen 2011, [2]).

Locations that offer training for upcoming anesthesiologists are the University of Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California Irvine (UCI) and Stanford University all of which reside in California. The University of Los Angeles “one of the largest Anesthesia programs in the western United State” (Anonymous 2011f, [2]) requires an application fee of five hundred and twenty five dollars; if accepted monthly fees will be three thousand (Anonymous 2011f, [1]). The University of California Irvine, “Increasingly a first-choice campus for students” (Anonymous 2011h, [1]) medical costs are thirty three thousand and seven hundred and fifty dollars for California residents and forty six thousand and thirty five dollars for out of state students (Anonymous 2011h, [2]). Being in a desirable location, Stanford University is an ideal place for many anesthesiologists to prepare themselves at while indulging in their surroundings (Anonymous 2010g, [1]). The tuition at this prestigious school is forty thousand and fifty dollars per year (Anonymous 2010g, [2]).

Those who are considering an occupation as an anesthesiology won't have to think twice as they are expected to earn a six digit starting income ranging from one hundred sixteen thousand and six hundred and fifty three dollars to two hundred seventy two thousand and six hundred and eighty seven dollars.(Batiste 2010, [1]). The estimated yearly income in California is two hundred thirty thousand and three hundred and sixty dollars which stands to show that an occupation as an anesthesiologist is quite rewarding. In areas such as New York the pay roll will be a bit less but still a charming amount of two hundred sixteen thousand and two hundred and ten dollars. Though quite a distance away, Florida offers earnings close to California at two hundred thirty thousand and sixty dollars (Anonymous 2009b, [2]). “This wage is equal to or greater than $80.00 per hour or $166,400 per year” (Anonymous 2009b, [4]) sets the bar for the salary of an anesthesiologist.

The employment outlook for anesthesiologists is currently stable and is suspected to have an increase in demand in future years for the growing community. “The career outlook for anesthesiologists, as well as physicians and surgeons, is expected to be great because the growing population will need more doctors to fulfill their health care needs. While there are no employment statistics specifically for this specialty, opportunities for physicians will increase 10% - 20% over the next decade” (Brewer 2004, [3]) supports the fact that a career in anesthesiology will have increasing benefits as time moves on. Furthermore, anesthesiologists especially are foreseen to have the highest increase in demand because of patients' needs which would give more opportunities for new anesthesiologists to find work. Another reason why they are expected to experience more demand for work is because of updating technology which will allow them perform tasks that they were not capable of doing before (Brewer 2004, [4]). The employment outlook for anesthesiologists is expected to have an increase of fourteen percent from 2006 to 2016 because of the growing population that will need medical assistance/services (Anonymous 2011e, [1]).

Anesthesiologists would not be able to do their work properly without the use of technology, and as new innovations come they are able to perform more difficult procedures. The inventors of the latest anesthesia equipment have been recognized for their efforts for making advancements in the medical community such as Maynard who made the noninvasive blood pressure monitor (Anonymous 2011i, [1]). In recent news, a 4-D ultrasound may be a breakthrough tool used to place central lines more accurately without wasting time. Anesthesiologists tested this new tool on ten patients and out of the ten times nine did not make any back wall punctures. The new method allowed for a better end result without wasting crucial time during the patient's operation. Though since the tool is new it is likely to cost a lot more than the regular probes and is a lot bigger too, however the 4-D ultrasound probe can be used in other instances (McCook 2011, [1]).

The road to becoming an anesthesiologist is in no doubt a long and difficult one, but the pay off is great. Those who desire to work in the medical field must focus all their undivided attention to their studies in order to achieve great results. Their choices towards where they will pursue their career of anesthesiology will shape their future work environment and experiences. Anesthesiologists are the foundation of every hospital, as they focus primarily on patient's vital life functions. They are the ones who keep the patients safe and comfortable during operation, without them or their proper training, the hospital would be lacking stable support. There are many locations to study anesthesiology and as time passes us all by the 'product' of those areas will be the ones working and making new innovations.

From the moment I was born to now, the scientific world has been the most interesting to me in every aspect. What draws me to anesthesiology the most is the use of medicines and technology to help patients go through their operations pain-free. Another idea that appealed to me, was the learning experience that came along with it since understanding concepts is something I enjoy immensely. There is not much about the characteristics of an anesthesiologist that I would have trouble adjusting to, though the difficult work hours may prove something to complain about. The benefits for this occupation outweigh the cons which is why becoming an anesthesiologist would be best suited for me.
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