Wrong. A common misconception that many people have, that even I once had, is that anesthesiologists just sedate patients, then sit back and relax for the remainder of a case. My last two weeks rotating through the anesthesia department quickly changed my view of this demanding specialty.
One of the aspects I appreciate most of these physicians is that they are literally the last person the patient sees before a procedure, and the first person the patient sees upon awakening. This one detail makes the anesthesiologist a vital part of the patients overall experience during a surgical experience. Yes, a lot does go on during the procedure, but that is not what the patient will remember at the end of the day. It is the rapport the patient builds with the care team that will inevitably bring them back to ones facility and have them recommend the hospital to family and friends.
On my very first week rotating through this department I was able to practice my IV insertions, intubate a patient, perform a lumbar puncture, and administer IV meds. These physicians travel throughout the entire hospital and play a vital role in every procedure imaginable. I was able to witness a tumor removed from a patient’s spinal cord, the birth of a healthy baby, and a brain aneurysm on the brink of rupturing all in the same evening. These physicians not only need to place these patients in a safe state of sleep, but they also need to know what to do to save this patients life if anything were to go wrong during the procedure. I don’t know where the misconception started that this is a boring field, because so far I have been far from bored.