Felons are challenged to find a job after their release from prison. There are resources available even though felons may not believe they can get a job. Those who have hired felons have learned that they make good employees, but it might be in a different career from one felons had previously.
This blog post will address the issue of whether or not a felon can become an anesthesiologist.
- What is an Anesthesiologist?
- What Education/Training Does an Anesthesiologist Need?
- How Much Does an Anesthesiologist Earn?
- An Opportunity for Felons?
- Recommended Action
What Is an Anesthesiologist?
An anesthesiologist is a physician who uses an anesthetic with patients and monitors their well-being and pain level before, during, and after surgery. An anesthesiologist typically does the following:
- Devises an anesthesia (general or local) plan for a patient
- Determines the safety of an anesthetic
- Uses a selected anesthesia to render a patient unconscious
- Monitors and maintains normal vital signs (respiration, pulse, blood pressure, and temperature) and oxygen level
- Adjusts the anesthesia as necessary during the procedure
- Treats any problem that may occur before, during, or after the procedure
- Monitors the patient’s response to the surgery or procedure to facilitate recovery
- Controls pain after surgery
- Provides care for the patient after the procedure
An anesthesiologist typically works in a hospital or medical facility where surgery is performed. A successful anesthesiologist must have many skills, including:
- Compassion in dealing with patients
- Communication skills to discuss recommendations with physicians and patients
- Decision-making skills to decide the correct anesthesia and dose
- Detail oriented to follow the complexities of a medical procedure
- Knowledgeable about medications used for anesthesia
- Problem-solving skills to correctly determine a patient’s response to an anesthesia
What Education/Training Does an Anesthesiologist Need?
Anyone wanting to become an anesthesiologist must first complete a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a science-related field of study. A candidate must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass a licensing exam, and complete a year of internship and three years of residency. After residency, many anesthesiologists complete an additional year of specialty training in areas such as pain management, cardiac anesthesiology, pediatric anesthesiology, neuro-anesthesiology, obstetric anesthesiology, or critical care medicine.
Following a residency program in anesthesiology, a physician is eligible to take the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) examination (75 percent of anesthesiologists are board certified). All anesthesiologists must be licensed to practice medicine in their state.
How Much Does an Anesthesiologist Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are approximately 30,190 anesthesiologists in the U.S. The median annual pay for anesthesiologists was $352,000 in 2014. Earnings increase with experience and vary by location and subspecialty. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job future for anesthesiologists is strong, with a growth of 14% expected between 2014 and 2024, which is higher than average.
Experience will make a difference in how much an anesthesiologist earns annually. The area of the country in which a radiologist works also makes a difference in their earnings. Those practicing in the North and Central U.S. tend to earn more anesthesiologists working elsewhere due to less managed care and fewer physicians.
An Opportunity for Felons?
A felon can pursue any degree he or she wants. Approximately 60% of colleges consider criminal history in their admissions process, although there is no standard policy regarding a background check. Any felon that wants to get a degree can find a college that will accept him or her. A felon may have difficulty getting accepted into many medical schools, but there are programs that will accept a felon, including to become a radiologist.
Recently, medical schools have begun using specific criteria for evaluating candidates with a criminal background, looking at:
- Nature of crime – Types of crimes that are considered to involve dishonesty (cheating or fraud) or possible risks to patients (drug offenses or sexual and violent crimes)
- Disclosure – Withholding all or part of a criminal record
- Mitigating factors – The circumstances leading to the conviction and any steps taken regarding rehabilitation
It is important to be honest in filling out an application for a job or when applying for licensing as an anesthesiologist. If a felony isn’t disclosed but is found on a background check, this constitutes fraud and is punishable. It is a crime to falsify an application, which could result in being sent back to prison.
In order to be successful as an anesthesiologist it is essential for felons to be honest about their background. They are already viewed with negative perceptions of being dishonest, untrustworthy, and unwilling or unable to follow directions from authority figures.
Having their record expunged can give them the chance needed to begin with a clean record and succeed in becoming an anesthesiologist. Expunging a criminal record allows anyone to honestly state on an application that he or she has not been convicted of a crime.
It is a significant challenge, but it might be worth it for a felon that wants to become an anesthesiologist. Having his or her record expunged and also documenting any training programs or additional education could make the essential difference in a felon succeeding. There are opportunities for a felon to become a radiologist so why not an anesthesiologist?
Having support from family, friends, or previous employers can make a huge difference. A felon doesn’t have to be defined by his or her crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but by how we recover from them. He or she can begin again and live an honest life no matter how difficult it might seem.
What do you think about this blog post? Are you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become an anesthesiologist with a felony? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.