Anaesthetics - what is it like?

Hi team!

I am currently starting out as an anaesthetics trainee (with 4 years of previous medical experience) and was hoping to volunteer in a couple years time between completing core training and st3/4 (UK system) and was wondering what it's like to work as an anaesthetist on board and what we would be expected to do independently, and what support was available seniors wise? I expect we would be on solo lists most of the time but would there be any opportunities to be paired with a cons for some lists?

Also are there any UK based things I can do now which would help/any courses you could recommend?




  • CynthiaHarris
    CynthiaHarris Moderator Posts: 41 - Current Staff

    Dear Caren,

     Thanks so much for your interest! We are thrilled that you are already enquiring about coming to serve with Mercy Ships so early in your anesthesia career! The surgeries we do are incredible and life changing. They are very different to anything I have seen in the UK. The eligibility criteria for an Anesthesia Provider position are Consultant or Board Certified Anesthesiologists, Registrar level anesthesia provider (with a least 5 years of experience & this includes training), and a few limited cases Certified Registered Nurse Anaesthetists (if they meet that stated experience on the job description). The reason for this is we require you to have sufficient experience to be completely independent if necessary. That said, as the anesthesia supervisor I am always available to help out clinically as the case mix in West Africa is unique. If you are interested in coming between core anesthesia training and ST3, you could apply for the anesthesia assistant position. You would be assisting the anesthesia provider like a nurse anesthetist but in my opinion, it will still offer exceptional learning opportunities for you. There are no specific courses I would recommend except to complete your training! I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Sarah Kwok@SarahKwok


  • caren123
    caren123 Member Posts: 1

    Hi Cynthia/mercy ships team,

    It was a while ago that I asked the above question, but I was wondering if I could ask a followup question? I was wondering what the anaesthesia assistant position involves and what you would be allowed/not allowed to do in this role? Would the role be purely that usually undertaken by ODPs or would there be any opportunities to do more (airway management/give drugs/look after anaesthetised patients etc within my level of competence? ) I'm not particularly familiar with what nurse anaesthetists do. My current plans (in view of COVID and curriculum changes) are to do a staff grade/CT3 year prior to volunteering.

    Thanks and kind regards,


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