Anesthesiology Services at BHS
Anesthesiology Services at Berkshire Health Systems provides expert, state-of-the-art anesthesiology care to patients at Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital. Our team of Anesthesiologists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists is committed to providing the highest quality of care.
About your anesthesiologist
Anesthesiologists are the physicians trained to administer and manage anesthesia during a surgical procedure. They are also responsible for managing and treating changes in your critical life functions - breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure - as they are affected by the surgery being performed. Furthermore, they immediately diagnose and treat any medical problems that might arise during and immediately after surgery.
Prior to surgery, the anesthesiologist will evaluate each patient's medical condition and formulate an anesthetic plan which takes that patient's physical condition into account. It is vital that the anesthesiologist knows as much about your medical history, lifestyle, and medications as possible. Some particularly important information he/she needs to know includes the following: current medications, including over-the-counter and herbal medications, allergies to any foods and/or medications, reactions to previous anesthetics, and use of tobacco, alcohol, and any recreational drugs.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are nurses with experience in critical care medicine who have undergone specialty training in the field of anesthesia. As part of the team approach to anesthetic management, you may have a CRNA involved with your care, in addition to a physician anesthesiologist. CRNAs and physicians work side-by-side in the operating room to provide you with the safest anesthesia care possible.
Meeting the anesthesia team before surgery
Because anesthesia and surgery affect every system in the body, your anesthesia provider will conduct a preoperative evaluation. Sometimes this interview is initiated by a registered nurse in person; in other cases, you will be interviewed over the telephone. During this interview they will review your medical history and any other pertinent information needed to safely administer your anesthetic. He/she will also inform you about what to expect during your surgery. On the day of your surgery, the anesthesia team will meet with you immediately before your surgery to review your entire medical history obtained during the interview as well as results of any medical tests conducted during your preoperative evaluation. It is important to discuss any changes in your health that may have occurred in the days preceding your surgery, such as fevers, chills, upper respiratory infections, vomiting, diarrhea, or other ailments.