Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who provide anesthesia to patients before, during and after surgical procedures. Nurse anesthetists also regularly provide anesthesia during therapeutic, diagnostic and obstetrical procedures. Many medical procedures that require the services of a nurse anesthetist are planned surgeries such as a colonoscopy. Nurse anesthetists also must be available on stand-by to assist in emergency surgeries. Nurse anesthetists also administer epidurals for pain relief during childbirth, and administer local anesthetic when a patient requires partial anesthesia. They can also administer heavier doses of anesthesia for more intense surgeries and administer additional anesthetic for lengthy surgeries. The purpose of the anesthesia is to provide pain relief and pain management during and after surgical procedures. The nurse anesthetist must be well educated in anesthesiology to be able to provide precise amounts of anesthetic to their patients. Nurse anesthetists play an important role in surgical procedures as part of a medical team including surgeons, anesthesiologists, physicians, registered nurses and other health care specialists.

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