When you need surgery, a team of highly trained medical professionals works together to provide the best possible care. A surgeon with training specific to your condition leads this team. Additional members of your health care team may include the following medical professionals.


An anesthesiologist is a doctor who cares for patients immediately before, during, and after surgery by giving anesthesia, which is medication that blocks your awareness of pain during surgery and, in some cases, makes you unconscious. An anesthesiologist also monitors your vital signs, such as breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, and identifies and treats any medical problems that may arise during the surgery or recovery period.

Nurse Anesthetist or Anesthesia Assistant

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Anesthesia Assistant (AA) may monitor your vital signs and modify the anesthesia when necessary to ensure your safety and comfort, caring for you under the direction of an anesthesiologist. This type of nurse and anesthesia assistant has received specialized training in anesthesia and has passed a national certification exam.

Operating Room Nurse

Operating Room (OR) nurses assist the surgeon during surgery.

Recovery Room Nurses & Staff

Recovery room nurses care for and monitor patients who have undergone major or minor surgery.

Other Health Care Professionals

Other specialists who work to meet the full spectrum of your physical and psychological needs during treatment may include pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists or dietitians, and physical therapists.