What Does a Nurse Anesthetist Do?

Nurse Anesthetists 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.

Typically, Nurse Anesthetists perform these tasks every day:

    Administer post-anesthesia medications or fluids to support patients' cardiovascular systems.

    Assess patients' medical histories to predict anesthesia response.

    Monitor patients' responses, including skin color, pupil dilation, pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, ventilation, or urine output, using invasive and noninvasive techniques.

    Insert peripheral or central intravenous catheters.

    Evaluate patients' post-surgical or post-anesthesia responses, taking appropriate corrective actions or requesting consultation if complications occur.

    Calibrate and test anesthesia equipment.

    Perform or evaluate the results of diagnostic tests, such as radiographs (x-rays) and electrocardiograms (EKGs).

    Select, order, or administer pre-anesthetic medications.

    Develop anesthesia care plans.

    Perform pre-anesthetic screenings, including physical evaluations and patient interviews, and document results.

    Select, order, or administer anesthetics, adjuvant drugs, accessory drugs, fluids or blood products as necessary.

    Select, prepare, or use equipment, monitors, supplies, or drugs for the administration of anesthetics.

    Manage patients' airway or pulmonary status, using techniques such as endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, pharmacological support, respiratory therapy, and extubation.

    Prepare prescribed solutions and administer local, intravenous, spinal, or other anesthetics, following specified methods and procedures.

    Obtain informed consent from patients for anesthesia procedures.

    Discharge patients from post-anesthesia care.

    Select and prescribe post-anesthesia medications or treatments to patients.

    Disassemble and clean anesthesia equipment.

Most days, Nurse Anesthetists perform these tasks:

    Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in nursing.

    Instruct nurses, residents, interns, students, or other staff on topics such as anesthetic techniques, pain management and emergency responses.

    Insert arterial catheters or perform arterial punctures to obtain arterial blood samples.

    Respond to emergency situations by providing airway management, administering emergency fluids or drugs, or using basic or advanced cardiac life support techniques.

    Perform or manage regional anesthetic techniques, such as local, spinal, epidural, caudal, nerve blocks and intravenous blocks.

    Request anesthesia equipment repairs, adjustments, or safety tests.

Other tasks that Nurse Anesthetists perform include:

Other Questions about Nurse Anesthetists

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What Tools and Technologies Are Nurse Anesthetists Using to Do Their Job?

Tracheotomy sets


Swan Ganz artery catheters


MEDITECH software

AetherPalm InfusiCalc

Allscripts Professional EHR

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How Much Experience is Needed to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 77.42% said they needed a Master's Degree.

  • 6.45% said they needed a First Professional Degree.

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What Skills Should a Nurse Anesthetist Have?

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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All The Questions About Work, Answered.
What Subjects Should I Study to Become a Nurse Anesthetist?
No areas of knowledge found
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