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Within a hospital, anaesthetists, also known as anaesthetic technicians, are normally found working in anaesthetic departments and in operating theatres, although they can also work in various areas such as Accident and Emergency, Maternity or Paediatrics.
The primary responsibility of anaesthetists is to deliver anaesthetic care before, during and after operations and surgical procedures. This involves monitoring and using special equipment and instruments, administering anaesthesia and other medications to manage pain and induce 'sleep' patients and ensuring the safety, wellbeing and comfort of patients throughout by closely checking vital signs (breathing, blood pressure, heart rate and temperature). The role played by anaesthetist technicians is vital to the smooth running of an operation.
During childbirths, the anaesthetist will administer epidurals.
It is also their job to wake patients up and transfer them to recovery and intensive care units, ensuring that they are given the appropriate treatment to control any pain.
Aside from working is hospital units, anaesthetists commonly spend some of their time teaching university undergraduates or mentoring hospital house officers.