What do Anesthesiology Consultants do?

Daphne Mallory

Anesthesiology consultants are either medical doctors who are anesthesiologists or nurses who provide anesthesia services to hospitals, health centers, and medical providers on behalf of their patients. They provide anesthesiology treatment and services for surgeries. They may be assigned to a suite or section of a hospital or remain on call for multiple locations, because they own or work for separate entities. Some anesthesiology consultants specialize in certain types of surgeries, such as obstetrical surgery, local and sedation anesthesia, and pediatric cardiology. They must often complete at least three years of additional education and training beyond medical school before they can be certified to practice anesthesiology. An anesthesiology nurse is often a certified registered nurse who has training and experience in the area of anesthesiology.

An anesthesiology consultant checks for possible allergies to anesthesia.
An anesthesiology consultant checks for possible allergies to anesthesia.

The primary role of consultants is often to provide the staffing necessary to deliver anesthesiology treatment to patients. For example, hospitals hire consultants who have the number of anesthesiologists and certified registered nurses they need to staff areas of the hospital or medical facility. Hospital management may also ask consultants to advise on internal hiring decisions. Consultants can provide consulting in other areas, including the management and development of anesthesiology programs. Anesthesiology consultants are also called pain management consultants, and medical facilities may rely on them to give advice on the procedures and equipment necessary to provide pain management services to patients.

A patient being given inhalational anaesthesia.
A patient being given inhalational anaesthesia.

Dental practices use the services of anesthesiology consultants for oral surgeries and other major dental work. These consultants often offer mobile services to area dental offices on an as-needed basis. Some dentists need the assistance of consultants who specialize in providing pediatric sedation. Without the sedation, their pediatric patients may not cooperate with the completion of dental work or may experience pain during certain dental procedures.

Many anesthesiology consultants own their own practice or work for small business owners. The staff often consists of administrative assistants, case coordinators, and other support staff. They enter into contracts with medical facilities, surgeons, and office-based practitioners to deliver services and are paid by insurance companies, patients, or the medical providers. For example, a patient may receive a bill that separates the fees submitted by anesthesiologists and pay for it out of pocket or submit a claim to his insurance company to cover the fees. Consultants may also offer discounts to self-paying clients or to patients who pay early.

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