An anaesthetic practitioner is a medical specialist who is concerned with the care and safety of patients before, during and after surgery. Though it may seem a simple matter in using anaesthetic to put patients to sleep, this is a demanding speciality. You will need to have an excellent knowledge of physiology and the working of nerves, in order to ensure the patient is properly sedated. Observation and management of the patient during surgery is vital in order to ensure they do not come into any danger.

Anaesthetic practitioners also play a part in the development of new treatments to alleviate chronic pain. This is a medical speciality in which revival skills are an important asset should there be a medical emergency. Once years of experience have been gained there may be the opportunity to focus on specialities such as paediatrics, trauma or obstetrics. Anaesthetic practitioners are not merely concerned with surgical practices, but will also need to play a part in activities before and after operations.

Work activities

Typical work activities an anaesthetic practitioner would need to carry out include:

  • Use anaesthetic to ensure the patient is properly sedated during surgery.
  • One anaesthetic treatment you would use would be an epidural.
  • You would need to maintain utmost concentration during surgery to monitor the patient and make sure the anaesthetic is correctly working.
  • Resuscitation skills are an important asset should there be a medical emergency.
  • Anaesthetic practitioners work to develop new treatment techniques for chronic pain.
  • You would need to be on call at times.
  • Anaesthetic practitioners work with a range of medical specialists, but mainly those of the surgical discipline.
  • Work in surgical, medical and patient settings.
  • Surgical procedures may be long and demanding. An anaesthetic practitioner would need to uphold utmost concentration during this time.
  • Work in general hospitals, specialist clinics or private clinics.

Essential skills

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to work as an individual and as part of a medical team.
  • Able to uphold utmost concentration during long surgical procedures.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Understand your skills and also your limitations.
  • Excellent understanding of medicine.
  • Real desire to help the patient get better.
  • Maintain records of surgical procedures.
  • Ability to use your knowledge to choose the correct anaesthetic treatment for different ailments.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Be understanding of patient concerns and anxieties.