In olden days, surgical patients had to bite the bullet to endure pain. Now, nurse anesthetists can prevent patients from feeling discomfort, and then wake them up when surgery is all over. Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia to numb parts of the body or put patients in a sleep-like state during operations, diagnostic procedures, or therapeutic procedures. Nurse anesthetists know that everyone is different, so they talk with patients about their allergies and current medications… and evaluate other factors like height and weight… to determine the correct dosage for their patient. They choose and prepare appropriate anesthetics, and administer them by various methods, including IVs and inhaled gases. Throughout a procedure and during recovery, they carefully monitor their patient’s vital signs from their pupil dilation to their heart rate, and adjust anesthesia accordingly. They may work in dental or doctor’s office, keeping standard business hours. Those who work at hospitals often work some nights, weekends, and holidays. Depending on state regulations and the environment in which they work, nurse anesthetists may work independently or on a team under the direction of an anesthesiologist. To enter the field, they must have a master’s degree in nursing and a nurse anesthetist certification. Whatever the work setting, these professionals share the goal of making a patient’s trip to the doctor quick and painless.
What they do:
Administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.
On the job, you would:
Manage patients' airway or pulmonary status using techniques such as endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, pharmacological support, respiratory therapy, and extubation.
Select, prepare, or use equipment, monitors, supplies, or drugs for the administration of anesthetics.
Select, order, or administer anesthetics, adjuvant drugs, accessory drugs, fluids or blood products as necessary.
medicine and dentistry
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
reading work related information
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
do two or more things at the same time
quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Bizmatics PrognoCIS EMR
EDImis Anesthesia Manager
Word processing software
master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.