How To Become An Anaesthetist
The main role of an anaesthetist is to provide the correct amount of anaesthesia to patients during surgical operations. Outside the operating theatre, the anaesthetistís role is extremely varied and includes preparing patients for surgery and providing post-operative pain relief. Anaesthetists are also involved in managing pain relief for different aspects of medical care including dentistry, emergency departments, intensive care teams, radiology and acute and chronic pain teams. Some anaesthetists are involved in the teaching and training of medical students, nurses, midwives and paramedics.
Anaesthetists see a huge range of patients from young babies (and even foetuses still in utero) through to elderly patients. To work as an anaesthetist you will need to be passionate about caring for people and have a calm and reassuring manner. You should also be able to work independently and with other members of the team, be able to react quickly and calmly to emergencies and have a genuine interest in your area and a desire to ensure your skills are up to date.
To qualify as an anaesthetist you will first need to complete a five-year medical degree that is recognised by the General Medical Council. This is followed by further training, which lasts between seven and eight years.
Once you have qualified as a doctor you will need to complete a further seven to eight years training to become a fully qualified anaesthetist. This training requires you to pass a series of milestone competence assessments, and is divided into Basic, Intermediate and Higher and Advanced Levels. During your training you will work in clinical settings while you work towards the Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in Anaesthetics, which takes seven years, or the Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS), which takes eight years.
Once you have completed your training, you can apply to join the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register and apply for a consultant anaesthetist post.
Average Working Hours Per Week = Varies
Common Working Pattern
Time Taken To Qualify
Upto 14 years
What Next/Career Development
Experienced consultant anaesthetists can develop their careers in a variety of ways. You could manage a department, teach, or conduct research and become an expert in a particular field.
Facts And Figures
Over 6,000 consultants and doctors work within anaesthesia across the UK.
Anaesthetists come into contact with two thirds of all patients admitted to UK hospitals.
An estimated 5,000,000 anaesthetics are administered in the UK each year.
(Source: The Royal College of Anaesthetists)