Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Is An Anesthesiologist To Do?

Everyone knows that the work of an anesthesiologist consists of 'long stretches of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror'. Ninety-nine percent of the time, under anesthesia, during surgery, the patient is hemodynamically stable. If they were too risky, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist would delay the case until the patient is optimized for surgery. Only life-threatening emergencies which can't wait go right to the O.R.

Assuming everything is going fine with anesthesia and the surgery, which can stretch on for in some cases, eight to ten hours, what is the anesthesiologist to do besides filling the vaporizer when it is empty, charting this case, managing this case (filling the i.v. with new bags, draining the foley, watching the monitors, and continuing with the maintenance phase of the anesthetic)?

Here are some things I have observed the anesthesiologist do in an Operating Room:

  • read the Bible
  • Do crossword puzzle
  • watch YouTube
  • text
  • shopping on Ebay
  • read the newspaper
  • talk on the phone
  • talk to the surgeon (if allowed. One today said, 'Please be quiet, I am concentrating' to the rep and nurse in the room
  • read Journals
  • research illness of the patient
  • prepare for the next case (set up equipment, drugs, and review electronic record)
  • exercise (one brought in special rocking devices to fit on the shoes)
  • daydream
  • drink coffee (old school ones do this)
  • study for exam
  • do Bible Study and bring Book of Mormon
  • review weekly schedule and appointments
  • trade stocks and call their broker
  • read online news
  • check email
  • stock the anesthesia cart
  • use iPad, iPod Touch, or Smart Phone
  • play music for the room--run CD's, Pandora,  Satellite Radio or playlist
  • negotiate a scheduling trade with a colleague
  • read magazines
  • read catalogs
  • do Sudoku
  • make a 'to do' list for the day
  • schedule appointments, for example, the dentist or hair cut
  • pray for the patient on the table


Reiki Doc