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About Anesthesia

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is the safe administration of medication to allow a medical procedure or surgery to be completed without causing the patient pain, while also minimizing or eliminating awareness. It also controls the patient’s reaction to stress and reduces fear and anxiety.

What Is an Anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists are highly skilled medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathy (DOs) who specialize in the field of anesthesiology. Anesthesiologists in the United States complete a four-year undergraduate college degree, four years of medical school and a four-year anesthesiology residency program. All of the anesthesiologists at Tanner Health System hospitals are board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology and work for West Georgia Anesthesia Associates, a Tanner Medical Group practice.

Anesthesiologists are primarily responsible for the safety and well-being of patients before, during and after surgery. An anesthesiologist administers anesthesia or supervises the administration of anesthesia for medical procedures and surgeries requiring the control of pain and/or the management of the vital functions of the body. An anesthesiologist also is available for expert consultation in the management of any number of perioperative or critical care patient needs, including acute pain management, difficult or invasive vascular access and emergency airway support.

What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

Nurse anesthetists are non-physician anesthetists who specialize in the provision of anesthesia care and participate in the administration of anesthesia in a variety of surgical cases. They are supervised by a physician anesthesiologist, but may also work under the supervision of other physicians.

A nurse anesthetist, or CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist), is an advanced practice nurse with post-graduate education in the study of anesthesia. Applicants to nurse anesthesia academic programs have a background in critical care as registered nurses and also hold a baccalaureate degree. Upon completion of their master's or doctorate-level studies in anesthesia, 100 percent of graduates must pass a national certification examination before becoming a board-certified CRNA. Nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia in all 50 states, as well as in the U.S. military. The nurse anesthetists and anesthesiologists at Tanner work in collaboration to create an anesthesia care team, working together to provide the best anesthesia care for our patients.

All anesthesia care team members are part of West Georgia Anesthesia Associates.

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