There is nothing more instantly gratifying for an anesthesia provider than relieving someone’s pain. This can be both the lure and the catch that reels in so many nurses and physicians that go into this specialty.
When patients are asleep for surgery, we deliver some of their analgesia proactively, in anticipation of the expected pain; and some of the medications are administered reactively according to patients’ unspoken autonomic responses.
In our textbooks there exist tables that offer predictors of how much pain to expect from the various operative procedures. But most seasoned anesthetists will tell you that analgesia administration becomes intuitive, although not written in stone.
This is one example of why giving anesthesia is both a science and an art.