Anaesthetist

Anaesthetists are doctors who give anaesthetics to patients before, during and after surgery.

Average salary (a year)

£26,350 Starter

to

£102,500 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

41 to 43 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on a rota

How to become an anaesthetist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

To become an anaesthetist you'll need to complete:

  • a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
  • a 2-year foundation programme of general training
  • up to 8 years of specialist training

You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you do not have A levels or equivalent qualifications in science. This includes a one-year pre-medical foundation year.

If you already have an upper second class of first class science degree, you could take a 4-year graduate entry route into medicine. Some universities will also accept non-science graduates.

When you apply for a course in medicine, you may be asked to take the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) or the BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) to check your suitability for a career in medicine.

There's a lot of competition for places on medical degrees. Most university admissions departments will expect you to have done some relevant paid or voluntary experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
  • 3 A levels at grade A in chemistry and either biology, physics or maths, plus another academic subject

More information

More information

Registration

Further information

You can find more details about this career from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of biology
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • ambition and a desire to succeed
  • the ability to read English
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • preparing patients for surgery by explaining any risks or side effects
  • giving anaesthetics to patients
  • observing and monitoring patients during surgery
  • resuscitating and stabilising patients in the emergency department
  • relieving pain during childbirth
  • easing pain after an operation
  • managing acute and chronic pain
  • helping psychiatric patients receiving electric shock therapy

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

As a consultant anaesthetist in the NHS, you may also find opportunities to work in the private sector. With experience you might lead or manage departments.

With experience and entry on the General Medical Council (GMC) Specialist Register, you could apply for senior (or consultant) roles. 

You could also teach medical students, postgraduate doctors in training, nurses, midwives and paramedics.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an anaesthetist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

Pre-Access to Science & Nursing

  • Provider: COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: King's Lynn

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