The Surgical Team
When a patient undergoes surgery, a team of medical staff assists the surgeon in the procedure. The number of team members differs depending on the type of surgery performed. Most teams include the following:
A surgeon has completed four years of medical school, an internship, and a residency with four or more years of specialized training after medical school. Most surgeons have passed examinations given by a national board of surgeons for "board certification." In addition, some surgeons have the letters FACS behind their name. This means they passed review and are considered a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
An anesthesiologist has completed four years of post-medical school training in anesthesia, in addition to the required four or more years of medical school. Anesthesiologists may further specialize in certain surgery specialties, such as pediatric anesthesia or cardiac anesthesia. The anesthesiologist is involved in all three phases of surgery: preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative management.
- Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
The nurse anesthetist takes care of the patient before, during, and after surgical procedures. The nurse constantly monitors every important function of the patient's body and can modify the anesthetic to ensure maximum safety and comfort. A nurse anesthetist has a bachelor's degree in nursing, followed by specialized post-graduate training in anesthesia. Nurse anesthetists are required to pass a national certification examination to become a CRNA.
- Operating room nurse/circulating nurse
Nurses are registered and licensed by the state to care for patients. Some nurses concentrate in a specialized field, such as surgery. The operating room nurse assists the surgeon during surgery. Operating room nurses are certified in various surgical areas. They will make your child feel comfortable and answer his/her questions if he/she goes to the operating room awake.
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