Emergence Of Anesthesiology
Anesthesiology as a medical specialty was slow to develop. By the end of the nineteenth century, ether, which was considered safer than chloroform, was administered by etherizers who had little medical experience, including students, new physicians, non-medical specialists, nurses, and caretakers. Eventually, nurses began to be used for this job, becoming the first anesthetists by the end of the nineteenth century.
While the practice of surgery began to make considerable progress by the turn of the century, anesthesiology lagged behind. In the twentieth century, though, the need for specialists in anesthesia was sparked by two world wars and advanced surgical techniques. To meet these demands, the American Society of Anesthetists was formed in 1931 and specialists were then certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology in 1937. By 1986, the Board certified 13,145 specialists—physicians and nurses, called nurse anesthetists—in the field of anesthesiology.
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