Best Practices to Recruit Anesthesia Providers to Small Hospitals

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Anesthesia is a type of medical treatment that allows doctors to perform procedures on unconscious or numb patients that would otherwise be very difficult or even impossible if they were awake or could feel pain. Using one of several drugs called anesthetics, a doctor treats a patient with anesthesia to perform procedures that would too painful and/or harmful to perform otherwise.

Anesthesia providers are also known as Anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists specialize in creating and executing anesthetic plans, administering anesthetics and perioperative care. They are key individuals for ensuring patient safety as they undergo surgery, and take care of patient before the procedure requiring anesthetics, during and afterward during the post-operation care.

Best Practices for Recruiting Small Hospital Anesthesia Providers

There are several best practices that should be implemented when recruiting for anesthesia providers in small hospitals, such as rural area hospitals.

In short, these practices are:

• Take Advantage of External Resources

• Recruit for Retention

• Highlight Positive Aspects of Small Hospitals During Recruitment

• Telehealth and Technology for Small Hospitals

• Recruiting International Anesthesia Providers

• Making Attractive Compensation Packages

Take Advantage of External Resources

Small hospitals searching for anesthetic providers should research for resources outside of their immediate networks. For rural, small hospitals, an excellent resource is the National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network (3RNet). 3RNet is a non-profit network that is supported by Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each year, they place over 2,000 medical professionals throughout the country using their vast resources.

Some 3RNet services include:

• Its website,, allows small hospitals and other employers to post jobs to a pool of medical job seekers

• An extensive database, with more than 60,000 medical professionals who are interested in providing healthcare services in small hospitals and rural areas

• Educational webinars and education conferences that can be attended each year

Recruit for Retention

Small hospitals recruiting for anesthesia providers should do so with retention in mind. This means recruiting anesthesiologists who are very compatible with the kinds of communities that small hospitals are a part of, and taking the steps necessary to retain these sort of providers.

Some of the practices necessary for recruiting and retaining anesthesiologists include:

• Creating a group focused on recruitment and retention

• Proactively searching for building relationships with interested anesthesiologists

• Properly budgeting for retaining anesthesiologists

• Getting the community’s support to promote the community to candidates

Highlight Positive Aspects of Small Hospitals During Recruitment

Anesthesia providers who are considering work in small hospitals may have several location-related concerns. They may wonder if they will have opportunities for time off, or be concerned about professional isolation. They may also be worried about a substantial workload.

Small hospitals recruiting for these professionals should promote the benefits involved in working for them. Some of these benefits include serving areas that are in need and creating strong bonds with patients and with the wider community. Another key benefit of working in small hospitals that should be noted is the slower paced lifestyle that a small town would offer to interested candidates.

Telehealth and Technology for Small Hospitals

To lessen the negative effects of professional isolation, small hospitals can utilize telehealth and other types of technology. Electronic intensive care units and other electronic services can virtually connect anesthesiologists with other healthcare providers and specialists, which allows them to provide vital support and knowledge.

Recruiting International Anesthesia Providers

Small hospitals should consider offering J-1 visa waivers and H-1B visas to interested international anesthesia providers. These international providers can fill employment gaps which are occasionally experienced by smaller hospitals.

Making Attractive Compensation Packages

Small hospitals should consider offering the following benefits in their compensation packages:

• Health insurance, including dental and vision insurance

• Life insurance

• Malpractice insurance coverage

• Payment for licensure fees

• Payment for continuing education

• Sabbaticals for research, education or other profession-related work

• Sick leave

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