Who Will Administer Anesthesia?

Depending on the type of procedure-and the type of anesthesia-multiple people may be qualified to administer your anesthesia. Here, you'll find a guide to the health-care professionals who are appropriate choices under specific circumstances.

An anesthesiologist: This person is an MD with an accredited residency in anesthesiology. He or she is qualified to administer all types of anesthesia.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA): This person is a registered nurse who has 24 to 36 months of graduate course work, including both classroom and clinical experience, in addition to the testing required for certification. In certain states, a CRNA may independently administer general anesthesia; other states require the direct supervision by an MD.

An anesthesiologist physician's assistant: This person supports the anesthesiologist and may administer anesthesia only under the direct, on-site supervision of a board-certified anesthesiologist.

Your doctor: For procedures that are performed with a topical or local anesthetic in conjunction with oral sedation, your operating doctor may administer the anesthesia or may prescribe medications for you to apply or take prior to treatment. Some doctors may administer intravenous (IV) sedation.