Psychology is a science and art that uses theories and concepts to understand and explain people’s behavior. It is a practical discipline that can be applied for personal and career development. Healthcare professionals see the need to integrate psychological concepts in assessments, treatment, and management of patients. To enhance sustainable interventions and sufficiently engage complexities in medicine, the methods and concepts in psychology must be embedded with those of health sciences (Clarke et al., 2019). For instance, the biopsychosocial approach requires professionals to look beyond the absence or presence of diseases to the client’s psychological and social state and their significant others. In this essay, I will discuss the application of key psychological concepts including stress, coping, sensation, perception, consciousness, and nature versus nurture in personal life and future aspirations as an anesthesiologist.
Scope of an Anesthesiologist
It is worth knowing the scope of the career of anesthesiologists to understand how psychology is relevant to their duties. Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine concerned with the alleviative and holistic care of patients undergoing surgery. Medical practitioners with this specialty mainly have roles within the operating room. In most cases, their role extends to providing acute and chronic pain relief, cardiac and respiratory therapy, and labor analgesia. Working within a multidisciplinary team is a must for the specialist. Also, the patient’s family members may require information about the prognosis of the patient before, during, and after the operation process. Psychology concepts such as cognition, sensation, perception consciousness, biological drives, stress, coping, attachment, operant conditioning, and nature-nurture interaction have some relevance in anesthesiology.
Applying Psychology as an Anesthesiologist
Psychological approaches such as humanism, psychoanalysis, Gestalt, and behavioral theories explain human behavior and management of stressors to obtain optimal wellness. Since this discipline focuses mainly on people, its concepts are crucial for all helping careers. In my case, the concepts can be applied not only when dealing with clients undergoing emotional havoc from surgical procedures but also dealing with personal stress. Research methods and theories taught in psychology can also be applied in health studies by applying concepts such as informed consent and the principle of no harm.
Stress and Coping
The healthcare environment is often characterized by pain, uncertainty, financial pressure, and loss, causing stress. The provider has to work with patients facing life-threatening issues; some lose parts of their bodies, and others succumb during the operation. It is important to have coping mechanisms so as not to sink into depression. Techniques such as deep breathing and peer supervision can help the professional to maintain a healthy mental state. When interacting with patients, I will apply similar psychological concepts to help them minimize stress.
Sensation and Perception
Patients have rich sensory experiences, especially during the pre-operation and post-operation stages. In their book, Licht et al. (2014) use the example of Mandy Harvey to show how sensation affects the perception of the person. When a client is deaf, an anesthesiologist may rely on their sensational experience to understand how they feel. Patients also have a near-death experience and may feel scared or have a sense of loss. Understanding these psychological concepts can help me in the management of patients undergoing surgery or those that are under intense pain.
When an individual has infirmities, disorders, or is in a state of psychological pain, they may have challenges with their internal or external condition of awareness. After traumatic events, a person’s level of consciousness may be interfered with. During sleep and dreaming, the level of consciousness also changes as brain activity increases or lowers. Such changes are essential in the operating room as it helps determine the kind of drugs to use and the timing. Licht et al. (2014) give an example of the experience of Dr. Divya Chander with a patient having narcolepsy. The doctor applies the knowledge of consciousness when measuring the patient’s brain activities—some neurological tools, such as high-frequency electrogastrograms. In the future, I will use psychological concepts in research such as informed consent, confidentiality, and objectivity when studying a patient’s consciousness.
Nurture and Nature
The interaction between nature and nurture is a significant psychological concept to anesthesiologists. For instance, some patients may recover fast after surgery because of their genetic make-up. Relationship with family members, the kind of food that a person feeds on, and their level of activity can influence the period of hospital stay. When managing pain in patients, the anesthesiologist can apply this knowledge to advise the patient’s caregivers to provide support and an enabling environment for them to be relieved fast.
Psychology is an exciting discipline that teaches about human behavior and how different concepts can be applied to enhance optimal wellness. As an aspiring anesthesiologist, I will use the postulations in this course to deal with personal stress and manage patients’ emotions. Some of the abstractions on research, consciousness, nurture, and nature are most relevant to anesthesiologists’ jobs. The knowledge gained in Psychology 1010 is applicable not just for my career development but also for life.
Clarke, B., Ghiara, V., & Russo, F. (2019). Time to care: Why the humanities and the social sciences belong in the science of health. BMJ Open, 9(8), e030286. Web.
Licht, D. M., Hull, M. G., & Ballantyne, C. (2014). Scientific American: Psychology. Worth Publishers.