The Surgical Team for Children
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The Surgical Team for Children 

When a child has surgery, a team of medical staff helps the surgeon with the procedure. The number of team members varies. It depends on the type of surgery. Most teams include:

Surgeon

A surgeon has had 4 years of medical school, an internship, and a residency with extra training after medical school. Most surgeons have passed exams given by a national board of surgeons. This is known as board certification. Some surgeons also have the letters FACS after their name. This means they passed review and are a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Some surgeons have more training in specific types of surgery, such as pediatric surgery.

Anesthesiologist

This type of doctor has had 4 years of training in anesthesia after the 4 years of medical school. They may then pick a specialty, such as pediatric anesthesia. He or she is involved before, during, and after surgery. This type of doctor has a testing process to be board certified in their specialty. They also must keep up with ongoing training.

Certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA)

The nurse anesthetist takes care of a child before, during, and after surgery. He or she watches every vital function of the child's body. This nurse can change the anesthetic to make sure of safety and comfort. A nurse anesthetist is a master's prepared advanced practice nurse. He or she has had special training in anesthesia. CRNAs can give anesthetics to people in every type of setting, from doctor's office to hospital. He or she can work on every type of surgery or procedure. They are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals. They are also the main providers of anesthesia to the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces. Nurse anesthetists have to pass a national certification exam. Then they become a CRNA. After that, they must keep up with ongoing training.

Anesthesiologist assistant (AA)

These are licensed providers who work with licensed anesthesiologists. They help to create anesthesia care plans. They have a premedical bachelor's degree. Then they do course work and clinical training at the master's degree level. Anesthesia assistants must pass a national certification exam. They must keep up with ongoing training. And they must recertify every 6 years.

Operating room nurse or circulating nurse

Nurses are registered and licensed by each state to care for patients. Some nurses work only in a single field, such as surgery. The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses gives education and certification for nurses who work in surgery rooms. These nurses help the surgeon during surgery. Operating room nurses are certified in different types of surgery. They will make your child feel comfortable and can answer his or her questions before surgery starts.

Surgical technologists (scrub techs)

These techs are healthcare providers with specific education. They work as members of the surgery team in the role of scrub tech. They make sure the tools are all ready for surgery. They hand the tools to the surgeon. And they count the tools with the nurse at the end of the surgery to make sure they are all there. They are a vital part of the surgery team.

Online Medical Reviewer: Amy Finke RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Jonas DeMuro MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2019
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