In general, an anesthesiologist is a medical professional responsible for patient care before, during, and after they receive surgical procedures. They administer anesthesia and monitor the patient’s vitals to ensure they are as comfortable as possible.
An anesthesiologist meets with patients to review their medical history before any procedures are carried out. They talk through the process and their involvement with the patient, and answer any questions they may have.
There is a great deal of responsibility involved in administering the correct amount of anesthesia, and continually checking for any adjustments during a surgical procedure. Working as part of a surgical team along with doctors and nurses is mandatory, so having good communication skills is essential.
So, how much do anesthesiologists make? According to figures published by the US Department of Labor, the median annual salary is $267,020.
An anesthesiologist starting salary is around the $160,000 per year as reflected by the lowest 10%. The starting wage varies for a number of reasons, like; geographic location, experience, area of specialty, and level of qualifications.
Anesthesiologists working in metropolitan areas generally earn considerably more than those working in rural locations. This is due to the cost of medical care in these areas, and the amount of work. Geographically Pennsylvania is among the highest salary areas, while Mississippi is near the lowest.
Top Paying Industries
|Industry||Percent of industry employment||Hourly mean wage||Annual mean wage|
|Offices of Physicians||1.03||$123.19||$256,230|
|Outpatient Care Centers||0.08||$116.42||$242,150|
|Offices of Health Practitioners||0.02||$103.81||$215,930|
|Medical and Surgical Hospitals||0.06||$92.29||$191,970|
Anesthesiologists Job Description
Becoming an anesthesiologist takes many years of study and qualifications, so what do anesthesiologists do? Anesthesiologists are health care physicians who have a core responsibility for a patient’s pain relief.
Anesthesiologists administer anesthetics to patients, before, during, and after surgical procedures. Anesthetics are medicines used to prevent patients feeling pain and discomfort while being operated on. The patient’s vitals need to be monitored closely while administering the medicine to ensure there are no complications, while if there are the anesthesiologist is required to take action.
Anesthesiologists also tend to patients with conditions causing them chronic pain, either due to surgery or independent of any surgery. Covering conditions such as neurological illness, or respiratory issues. Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering more than 90% of all anesthetics used in healthcare.
The anesthesiologist plays a key role in monitoring the patient’s vital signs during surgery. They monitor the patient’s heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, kidney function and breathing. There are a number of high-tech machinery used in modern medical practice, but overseeing the machines is necessary for the safety of the patient.
Post-surgery there are a number of responsibilities that carry on. There are drugs administered to reverse the effects of the aesthetic used during surgery, and the patient care carries on for some time after surgery. It’s the anesthesiologist who typically signs off the patient as clear to leave the recovery ward when they have fully recovered.
There are three main types of anesthesia, these are as follows:
• General -- A strong aesthetic that renders a patient unconscious, freeing them of any pain or sensation.
• Regional -- An aesthetic numbing the area of the patient being operated on.
• Local -- The mildest form of aesthetic used to numb a specific area of the patient’s body being operated on.
An anesthesiologist career path can be seen as fairly static in terms of job progression. The duration of operations and levels of responsibility will escalate over time, but often an entire career can be seen out in the same hospital.
The profession of an anesthesiologist is often carried out in outpatient facilities and hospitals, as these are the facilities where operations are performed. Typically working as part of a team, and liaising with other medical staff throughout a patient’s care.
Carrying out the job to a high standard requires intelligence, diligence, and years of training and studying. Technical skills need to be learned, and good communication is a key asset. Being a compassionate person with good bedside manner is always a huge advantage in healthcare, and certainly an advantage to the role.
Anesthesiologist Job Outlook
Employment for anesthesiologists are expected to trend upwards between 2016 and 2026 by 15%, resulting in an expected increase of 5,100 new jobs. This is faster growth than the average US profession, giving the job a positive outlook.
This positive increase is largely due to the rate that the healthcare industry is expanding. In the US there is an ever increasing aging population, and healthcare is becoming more widely and easily available to more people. Having a direct impact on the amount of healthcare professionals needed to service the demand.
Most of the growth is expected to be in the low-income sector as medical insurance becomes more readily available. However, the medical professions are always under threat from new technologies being introduced. Some facilities save costs by using physician and nursing professionals in place of anesthesiologists where the work allows, while sudden changes in the healthcare service can have an unexpected impact on growth too.