Anesthesia: An Overview

The Roles We Play

Ontario’s Anesthesiologists:

  • Prepare patients for surgery,
  • Manage their vital signs throughout operative procedures, and
  • Minimize their discomfort afterwards

We also play significant roles in nearly every field of acute healthcare.

  • In Obstetrics, anesthesiologists treat a mother’s pain during childbirth, through the application and management of epidural analgesia.
  • In and out of Emergency Rooms, anesthesiologists are frequently the first responders to life-threatening situations.
  • In the resuscitation of critically ill patients,we have the extensive and ongoing training to care for patients whose vital signs are reduced.
  • In many Intensive Care Units across the province, anesthesiologists work as intensivists, caring for patients who are critically ill.
  • In Trauma Units and hospitals specializing in caring for patients who have suffered significant shock or injury, anesthesiologists function as trauma team leaders, overseeing the care these patients receive.
  • In Post-Op, or the period immediately following an operation, anesthesiologists provide acute pain service, to ensure that patients suffer as little discomfort as possible.
  • In Chronic Pain Clinics, anesthesiologists care for patients who cope with chronic ongoing pain.
  • In Outpatient Facilities, supporting procedures such as cataract surgery, endoscopy, radiological interventions and cardiac procedures, anesthesiologists frequently lead Anesthesia Care Teams, where we supervise highly trained respiratory therapists and nurses in their care for patients.

Because we need to plan for every contingency during surgery, anesthesiologists are familiar with all medical conditions and their management. As a result, we are often involved in the administration of hospitals and healthcare systems.