No, I’m not interested in becoming a doctor of anesthesia. There are certain qualities you need to excel in this branch of medicine, which also happens to be one of the highest-paying medical specialties. An anesthesiologist should be detail-oriented, calm even in stressful situations, have excellent technical skills, and be able to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues.
An Attention to Detail-Oriented Individual
According to the American Society of Anesthesiologists, one of the most important qualities for an anesthesiologist is attention to detail. Anesthesia medications must be administered precisely, not only in terms of what they are and how much you give them, but also in terms of where and when you give them.
The patient’s safety depends on constant monitoring while they are under anesthesia. Pulse oximeters, which monitor oxygen levels, are just one of a number of indicators that an anesthesiologist must keep an eye on, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Keeping an eye out for signs of malignant hyperthermia, an anesthetic reaction, is an important part of patient safety monitoring.
Although sensors and alarms can warn you if there is a serious problem, you should pay attention to small details like changes in readings before they become a crisis situation.
Persistence in the face of adversity
What will happen if the patient’s vital signs go awry? To get the best result, you need to act quickly but calmly. This means that you must be able to maintain your composure even in the face of the most challenging situations. In other words, you’re thinking ahead about what you’ll need to do if anything goes wrong during the procedure, such as signs of an overdose or changes in vitals that could indicate the level of anesthesia is too low.
When everything goes according to plan, anesthesiologists are still under a lot of stress. In your hands is a patient’s life. Over-anesthetizing a patient can cause serious harm or death, but a patient’s unexpected reaction to the medication used can also cause problems and even death..
As a result, anesthesia is safer today than it was in the past because of advances in technology and the extensive training of anesthesiologists. Anesthesia-related deaths affected one in every 10,000 to 20,000 patients in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Cleveland Clinic found that this number has dropped to one in every 200,000 patients today.
Mnemonic devices like “ABC” for “airway, breathing, and circulation” help anesthesiologists remember important patient indicators even in high-pressure situations, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Medication Administration Skills
As a medical procedure, administering anesthesia and analgesia calls for a high level of expertise. You must, of course, learn how to draw blood, insert epidurals, and open airways during your medical education and training. A strong ability to work with your fingers, or manual dexterity, is important for aspiring anesthesiologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Though dexterity can be developed through practice, it’s important to remember that how well you developed this skill as a child can have an impact on how well it serves you as an adult, according to the New York Times.
On the surface, anesthesiology appears to be the least interpersonally demanding career in medicine. Because, unlike most doctors, your patients will be unconscious for the majority of the time you spend with them.
Before and after administering anesthesia, it’s important to manage patient expectations and anxieties in order to ensure that your patients are comfortable and confident in your care. Even if you’re not directly involved in the patient’s procedure or the patient’s vitals, any interactions you may have while they’re awake are important. Anesthesiologists don’t spend as much time with patients before a procedure as other physicians do, so your interpersonal skills are even more important because you have to build trust in a shorter period of time, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The thought of undergoing a medical procedure, especially one that may be painful, makes many patients anxious. Some patients suffer from full-blown apprehension when it comes to undergoing painful medical procedures and procedures. Having a caring and reassuring personality can help patients overcome their anxiety and be more satisfied with their care. There is no patient who wants a doctor or nurse who is aloof, uninterested, or lacking in empathy to be responsible for making sure they aren’t experiencing pain. Your warm personality and confidence will put patients at ease even before the anesthesia begins to take effect.
Good communication skills are also necessary for having strong interpersonal skills. Active listening is more important than speaking, according to the O*NET database. Giving patients your undivided attention and not rushing them is an important part of active listening.