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A career where a patient’s life is in your hands can be one of the scariest jobs to have. Growing up, I had to go through ten surgeries, and every time the scariest part was when the anesthesiologist came by to put the IV in my arm. I remember screaming, kicking, and squirming around even while being held down by 3 nurses. They never got the chance to put the IV in because I hated needles so much, so they put me down with laughing gas and then they had to insert an IV. All 10 surgeries were an experience for me and as well as the medical staff that were treating me. There have been times when I have awakened in the middle of surgeries, not been able to wake up, and almost got pneumonia from anesthesia. Yet I have always wanted to become an anesthesiologist because they have immense knowledge and they have a combination of skills that no other doctor has that can be used from general surgeries to even treating patients suffering from cancer.

Anesthesiology is a practice of medicine dedicated to the relief of pain and total care of surgical patients before, during, and after surgery. They have to be educated in both medicine and communication because they have to diagnose the patient’s pain, prescribe the amount of medication that will be needed, inform the doctors what will take place during the surgery, hope that the patient does not wake up while in surgery, and deal with post-surgery pain. An anesthesiologist’s job actions can deal with intensive care units, trauma, general emergencies, and pain management. The duties of an anesthesiologist go way beyond the operating room because they have to deal with the patient’s pre-op evaluation, intra-op evaluation, post-anesthesia care, pain, etc. They have to have the knowledge to treat and understand the entire human body, as well as know the body’s functions and the type of reactions the body can have to medications. To become an anesthesiologist, one must go through twelve rigorous years of hard work and perseverance. One might ask is worth it to go through twelve years and almost 14,000 clinical hours? I believe that in the end if a person is happy with what they are doing and if it is their passion, then yes, although there can be negative consequences to being an anesthesiologist.

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An anesthesiologist plays a vital role in the patient’s care by making sure that they make the correct medical decision and treating any life-threatening medical complications that can take place during surgery. Therefore, anesthesiologists are forced to undergo high amounts of stress, which can lead to fatigue, restlessness, substance abuse, burnout, etc. This is for all anesthesiologists, not just in the United States, but on a global scale as well. In most countries they are forced to be on call, work long hours, and in some countries worry about economic uncertainty. Anesthesia is a profession that requires teamwork inside and outside of the operating room, and often workplace conflicts tend to arise which leads to tension and more stress. If any complications arise during the surgery, then all the discredit goes to the anesthesiologist, and any problems that do happen, the American Board of Anesthesiology, the patients and family, as well as the community end up looking down on the anesthesiologist. They have to have liability insurance, and they always can be sued for malpractice in the hospital. All these factors have led to occupational stress and burnout, this doesn’t include the stress that anesthesiologists face at home and their imbalance between home life and work life. The main elements that contribute to this stress are time constraints, work overload, complex clinical tasks, fear of harming patients, workplace atmosphere, communication difficulties, lack of job control, and always being on call, therefore, mixing family life with medical duties. Due to these factors, there is often a higher rate of depression and suicidal tendencies that can affect their well-being. To help cope with the stress they develop alcohol abuse, depression, and social withdrawal, and the stress can progress into an emotional and physical illness that can end up being detrimental to their well-being. However, job satisfaction, a good salary, and benefits have helped bring down the amount of stress these doctors face on a daily basis.

The job of an anesthesiologist is one that definitely has its pros and cons, after going through many years of training and going to school they are the experts that will help keep the patient alive and well before, during, and after surgery, and are one of the most highly skilled doctors in the medical field. I believe that the perks that they end up receiving are much more than normal doctors, but every career comes with its consequences. From having a variety of patients and medical practice, lifestyle, high job satisfaction, being able to use modern medical machines, and while being able to focus on patient’s care, but having to deal with being on call 24/7, tight schedules, high-risk factors, stress, excessive workloads, etc. Even though the life of an anesthesiologist can be very challenging, I believe it also can be diverse and fun, while the services and skills that these doctors provide are utilized greatly not only in the operating room but in the medical world as well. That is why I really want to become an anesthesiologist and dedicate my life to it.

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