Following the completion of medical school training, physicians enter a two-year foundation program which consists of at least six, four-month rotations in various medical specialties. It is mandatory for all physicians to complete a minimum of three months of general medicine and general surgery training during this time. Following the foundation program, physicians compete for specialist training. The training program in the United Kingdom currently consists of two years of core training and five years of higher training. Also, before the end of core training, all trainees must have passed the primary examination for the diploma of Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA).
In 2015, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) published official guidance on the topic of fatigue in the workplace, citing patient safety as a major concern when anesthetists are overly fatigued by the demands of work. While fatigue is somewhat accepted as an industry norm, the guidance states that it can adversely affect the nurse anesthetist’s ability to be vigilant, and vigilance is non-negotiable in this profession. While it stops short of recommending a maximum number of CRNA work hours per week, the AANA does advise that nurse anesthetists work no more than 16 consecutive hours without adequate breaks for meals and respite.