Anaesthesia Patient Experience Survey Results

As much as you can gain from your own Patient Experience Survey report, we feel you can also learn from what others receive too. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most insightful (positive and negative) comments our members have received as part of their Patient Experience Survey.

Over 4,634 lines of Patient Experience Survey responses were analysed. All data has been de-identified.

It only takes a few things to make a big difference to the patient – you are usually the last person the patient sees or hears before they go off to sleep. You are their safe person. As summarised below, a little help from you can make them feel safe, confident and well taken care of.

Listed below are what these patients said they liked (and didn’t like) about their Anaesthetist. It’s your How to guide to being appreciated as an Anaesthetist (in their own words).

As it’s a long read, there’s also a brief summary below, an easy-to-search table of contents, some quick stats, and the patient comments in full below.

This Patient Experience Survey quote sums it up pretty well:

Dr X was outstanding. I felt very confident and safe in his care. From pre-op to post-op, Dr X was patient, clear, thorough, comprehensive and clearly managed my expectations. His expertise during the procedure was exceptional. I am grateful to have had him.

Would you like to learn more about our Patient Experience Surveys:

Short Summary

Assume everyone is anxious.

It’s a big day in a normal person’s life and although we know you do this every day, here’s a summary of the most common patient feedback received and how you can improve.

  1. Listen + Show Care – clear simple language to answer their questions
  2. Be Calm – don’t rush, assume every patient is anxious
  3. Show Confidence – eye contact and address patients
  4. Manage Expectations – inform what will happen when, post op pain and even what fee to expect
  5. Light Humour – jokes go a long way to put patients at ease
  6. Children – talk to them on their height level – address them and ask them if they have any questions. Let them wear their favourite t-shirt or bring in an iPad if possible. Update the parents. A written or easy to remember pain schedule helps too!

The Stats

We analysed:

  • 1,354 Patient Experience Surveys with ..
  • 4,634 lines of patient comments were analysed for ..
  • 74 Anaesthetists
  • A whopping 97.8% of patients answered “Yes” when asked “If you were to have another procedure in the future, would you be happy to have the same Anaesthetist?
  • The survey was completed by 56% of the patients within 7 days of their operation and 75% within 14 days
  • The most common ages to complete the survey were “65 – 74 years” and “25 – 34 years

These were the words that were most often used:

  • caring / care = 354 mentions
  • ease = 202
  • appreciat(ed) / grateful = 140
  • anxiety / anxious = 134
  • expectations = 111
  • listened / heard = 110
  • confident / confidence = 95
  • safe = 76
  • Humour / jokes / funny / laugh = 48
  • calm = 19

The Comments

In order to protect the privacy of our patients and Anaesthetists, all comments have been de-identified.

Due to the purpose of the Patient Experience Survey being to help Anaesthetists improve their services, some comments have been moved to more appropriate sections for review.

Pre-Operative Pain

To answer the question, “With regards to any pre-operative pain, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

  • His calm demeanour and approach put me at ease and I was in no way concerned about his role in my procedure.
  • I am doing the survey for our son as he has Autism. I was very impressed that Dr X understands how to deal with patients with disabilities. … we were informed every step of the way.
  • I experienced some “lighting shots” down one of my legs during the epidural/spinal however I was really glad that Dr X had flagged this as a potential side effect when we chatted before the procedure so while it was uncomfortable, I wasn’t dealing with the surprise plus the pain. I was really grateful for this as it helped my experience.
  • Dr X showed empathy and kindness, taking into account my small veins and giving me a local before placing the IV. It seems like such a small thing but it put me greatly at ease to know that all pain was being managed, not just the surgery pain.

And some suggestions for improvement:

  • I developed a severe migraine waiting for surgery due to dehydration. Perhaps Dr X could have been more involved in deciding when I could last eat or drink. I had had nothing to drink for five hours before the operation and nothing to eat for 19 hours as I was told to fast from midnight the night before for an afternoon operation.

Asking Questions

To answer the question, “With regards to asking your Anaesthetist questions prior to your procedure, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • All questions were answered in detail and Dr X also explained the reasoning behind I had to fast. I had never had surgery before
  • Dr X was on top of my pre existing conditions and was comforting and reassuring. She asked me heaps of questions too.
  • Dr X allowed more than enough time for me to ask any questions I had. He spent time reassuring me as I was quite anxious prior to procedure. He also asked my Husband if he had any questions which we thought was very thoughtful
  • Dr X was very thorough in his pre-op information and any questions I had were answered easily and in non-medical terms to ensure I understood correctly
  • Dr X made me feel much more relaxed and calm as i was very worried and anxious. His calming tone was excellent and he really cared.
  • I couldn’t fault the service but most of all, the human element which matters and went a long way to reassure me. It’s weird to meet someone for the first time in person and feel like you know them and trust them literally with your life based upon those authentic interactions prior.
  • Dr X called me and discussed my concerns around 1) vocal chords and 2) post operative pain. He was honest and upfront about what he could do and what my options were. ..I am a singer I was super grateful that he made this happen.
  • He was very careful to note the previous experience I had with nausea when waking up from my last surgery and was very reassuring that he was confident he could improve that for me this time around.
  • Very easy to talk to and understood patient’s anxiety and need for sedation
  • Dr X was very personable and made the lingo to the point and included me in the plan.
  • Dr X had such a lovely bedside manorhe talked me through every little detail of the procedure. It was reassuring having him explain what to expect next, what sensations I should feel and that I was doing a good job – it made me feel comfortable and I so appreciated having someone talk to me to keep my mind off what was happening!
  • Very approachable. Dr X was wonderful and listened to what I had to say in regards to my disabled son. He worked with me!
  • Dr X was very thorough and helpful and patient with my elderly mother who is hard of hearing
  • Dr X was excellent in listening to and answering all our questions.
  • Dr X contacted my cardiologist regarding my benign heart palpitations. This put me at ease.
  • Dr X gave me all the time in the world to ask as many question as I needed so that I felt comfortable and informed, I was very grateful for this
  • I was extremely grateful for all of Dr X explanations and reassurances about what would happen, when and what it would feel like.
  • I had a four week old baby and Dr X had empathy and put my mind completely at ease in terms of being able to still feed him.
  • I really appreciated him calling me to discuss my medications on the Thursday night prior to surgery, and which ones to stop.
  • I really appreciated the phone calls which were authentic and relational rather than transactional.
  • It was lovely to see X again, have her remember me, be relaxed and check in with how I was going.

And some constructive feedback:

  • Responses were poor in my opinion. In email correspondence I was addressed incorrectly with a different first name, errors were made in information provided (invalid item number) and the overall tone was dismissive.
  • Anaesthetist was friendly and funny but spoke extremely quickly
  • I had a spinal block with sedation. Perhaps I missed something (always possible) but I was unaware I would be awake during the procedure. It was ok, but a little disconcerting at the time considering the nature of the procedure.
  • Only that it’s hard to hear when they have to wear a mask during the induction, but that’s not their fault.
  • Possibly a little more time face to face to go through the details of the operation and post operative pain relief protocols

Information Provided

To answer the question, “With regards to information provided before your procedure, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

  • Dr X talked me through each step in advance and then also step by step. This allayed my concerns.
  • Our situation was very sensitive .. I was so anxious about the procedure and sharing my history, I was treated with so much kindness and respect and I felt very comfortable about going ahead with the procedure after meeting with Dr X.
  • Lots of time to ask questions, lots of reminders about what was going to happen, very detailed and reassuring. She also have me a lot of information about what to expect when I awoke which was great for calming any concerns.
  • Dr X sought information from various sources and colleagues to ensure I was as safe as possible. Excellent care.
  • I felt as though he tailored the pre op information to my specific needs, and that was comforting.
  • Dr X used concise & simple language to let me know what he was doing & any next steps.
  • Dr X let me know the good and bad of going under, very well informed
  • Dr X followed up with previous anaesthetist who had identified airway difficulties and gave clear information regarding procedure and options. This was very reassuring – I felt like I was “in good hands”!
  • He explained that the oral medication was a “backup” in case there was overwhelming pain and I could not source out of hours medication or medical support.
  • Dr X, you have a very reassuring manner and warm smile!
  • He spoke in words that I understood and involved me in my plan of care with regards to the anaesthetic of use.
  • I was fully informed of the pros and cons of the procedure what to expect post operatively she was professional in her manner and had a good sense of humour.

And some improvement feedback:

  • Was extremely rushed and behaved as though he could not be bothered.
  • I would have like to know the medicines that were being used and their purpose
  • I would have appreciated being given an explanation of what was going to happen when I went into the theatre – I had something shoved in my mouth without any warning other than “open your mouth” which resulted in injury to my lips. I am still experiencing numbness in my lips 9 days later.
  • I still have a sore throat. I recall the anaesthetist commenting to my Specialist  that “she will have a sore throat” while I was in the pre op bay.  I’m not sure why that was said?
  • I don’t recall being told I’d be conscious
  • I liked having a lot of information, but was also quite stressed and so did accidentally misinterpret some of it (the cut off point for consuming water). It would be beneficial if there was a simple “cheat sheet” of some variation that I could’ve checked and was a lot easier to read the day before, when I was getting a bit muddled with stress
  • I found that I was given lots of information and actually I would have preferred less information about the procedure itself as I found it distressing to hear the process about to be undertaken. This was not the doctors ‘fault’ it was just overwhelming for me whilst I was distressed already
  • Dr X explained what would happen on the day very well. The only misunderstanding was when I was told to have a glass of water at 5:50 and, never having had surgery before, I thought it meant the evening before when I stopped eating. I didn’t find out it was supposed to be 5:50am until I had an issue with my blood pressure dropping after the cannula was inserted.


To answer the question, “With regards to your Anaesthetist listening to you, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • Dr X was very patient, understanding, and kind. he was an excellent listener and gave us time
  • He demonstrated active listening and really made me feel comfortable.
  • Dr X listened well and answered back directly to my questions. There were no grey areas at all.
  • Dr X used everyday metaphors to explain scenarios and procedures and checked in that I had understood.
  • X made me feel safe by listening to what i had to say.
  • Anaesthetist listened to my concerns taking my anxiety seriously
  • He was very respectful of me and my concerns about my voice. I really appreciated it. He could also clearly see I was frightened and he reassured me.
  • I was comfortable to tell Dr X how I was feeling during the procedure and he responded quickly and appropriately. Additionally Dr X repeatedly checked on me through out the procedure.
  • He was very approachable and did not have a tone that some doctors usually give to patients that you maybe asking something basic.
  • Took the time to listen to my concerns making me feel like a valued patient, not just the next one on the list.
  • I had forgotten to mention in my pre operation survey that I was still breastfeeding and so I did just before the operation. Dr X quickly reassessed my post op pain relief regime and updated me on the drugs I’d have to take.
  • He took the time to answer all my questions thoroughly and clearly
  • He treated me as a person not a number, he was interested in my welfare
  • Excellent communication skills. Listened well. Was not pushy or condescending about the no blood issue. He made me feel comfortable.
  • Dr X was so kind and patient. I had some traumatic surgeries in the past so I was very nervous about this procedure, but Dr X made me feel listened to and safe. He made sure I felt ok during the procedure and I can’t thank him enough for that.
  • I think he listened as I said I remembered shivering a lot in a pervious op. They made sure I was kept warm with blankets etc which helped and I appreciated that.
  • Asked me what mattered most to me amd listened which I appreciated
  • He was funny and comforting and made me feel a lot less anxious
  • Dr X was incredibly patient, friendly, informative and had great bedside manner. He ensured that I felt comfortable and understood the procedure entirely before commencing. He was professional yet personable and was sure to comfort and allay any concerns I had.
  • Built rapport efficiently
  • I was extremely scared of the procedure and her approach made me feel valued, safe and cared for. She was amazing

And some improvement feedback:

  • Did not give me any time to speak and was abrupt and rude in the way he spoke.

Feeling Rushed

To answer the question, “With regards to possibly being rushed, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

  • I did not feel rushed at any time, the whole experience was calm, ordered and gave the impression of everything being under control.
  • Absolutely the opposite of rushed! He made me feel like I was the VIP patient for the day 🙂
  • There had been a delay in processing my admission, therefore the surgery was running late. This could have led to a very rushed feeling, but Dr X made me feel very comfortable about it.
  • Had all the time in the world for me pre and post op
  • Never rushed, you took every opportunity to answer any of my concerns.

Feeling Scared & Anxious

To answer the question, “Did you feel scared or anxious before your procedure? With regards to these feelings and your Anaesthetist’s response, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • My daughter had concerns as would be expected prior to any surgery. Knowing her well though if she had not had the chat with the Dr a few days prior she would have been in a far more anxious state.
  • I had to have my surgery rescheduled, due my anxiety related symptoms, and Dr X had taken the time to Iet me know when she would be available for rebooking, so I wouldn’t have to meet a different Anaesthetist – which was important for me. She took the time to understand, and it was greatly appreciated.
  • Allowance made for my mother presence in the process until I was asleep, eliminate any stress etc
  • She talked to me about about my working career which helped divert my attention away from the procedure. This helped me enormously to feel at ease with her.
  • Prior to going into theatre I was terrified. Dr X immediately put me at ease & from what I remember even held my hand while I cried. I went in feeling totally safe in her hands.
  • I am actually not sure if it showed that I was anxious but just having a chat before going under was nice and we talked about the music that was playing.
  • Dr X said not to worry and that he would take good care of me when I was on the operating table and I was so grateful to him for that.
  • Dr X was very clear and calm, and made me feel at ease when I was anxious.
  • Dr X called me ahead of the operation to let me know that the anxiety I was having would not pose further risk on the day, which I appreciated. Dr X also realised how anxious I was, as is my usual response to being in a medical environment, and gave me something that calmed me down instantly which was great !
  • I felt supported the whole way through with things explained to me in clear, simple language.
  • Once I was in the OR there was no time for my anxiety to escalate. They got me under as soon as possible.
  • My anesthetist was very personable and told a lot of jokes, which made me feel more comfortable. I am very grateful for his calm and personable manner as it gave me a lot of confidence.
  • He remembered that I was anxious and was ready at the hospital to offer some sedation prior to the procedure.
  • He knew I was scared of needles and when the time came he tried to speak to me and get my mind off the needle itself
  • He was great at distractions and fun conversation both before surgery and when the anaesthetic was being administered. It did a lot to put me at ease, especially as I found the going into the surgery room pretty confronting.
  • Kept talking to me, telling me what was happening and checking to make sure I was ok
  • I dislike needles but he made it enjoyable and funny by us talking and laughing.
  • It was a sense of trust and almost like a feeling of knowing X when we met on the day from the two earlier phone calls that made all the difference. Once I met him and knew he was the real deal and exactly as he seemed on the phone, I was assured and felt safe.
  • Even though I didn’t ask about how the cannula worked he picked up that I was nervous about it and showed me exactly how it worked and that really made me feel much better and calmer.
  • Dr X was quick to notice my unease when explaining the cannula and made me at ease with humour. He was very kind and quick to recognise signs of unease or distress in his patient
  • Dr X’s confident and friendly demeanour made me feel very comfortable and safe.
  • Dr X explained the procedure well and this helped alleviate any anxiety because i knew what to expect
  • Distracted me with conversation
  • Dr X bed side manner is amazing! Please don’t change, I was so much more at ease with you there.
  • He normalized my experience and was very attentive explaining the process as it occurred. This deescalated my anxiety
  • Dr X provided an extremely positive experience, answering all my questions and putting me at ease. I genuinely am shocked at how relaxed I felt going into the procedure, I was not anxious or worried one bit and felt complete trust that he would look after me. I’m very grateful for my experience, thank you for the work you do!
  • I was feeling anxious but when I met the Doctor and her assistant, they were so friendly and even made me smile. Define put me at ease.

And some constructive feedback:

  • He was extremely crude and never once made eye contact with me or gave me any reassurance. In fact stated that I would be in pain and it is what I wanted and was basically behaving asthough I deserved it.
  • The doctor seems anxious about me being anxious
  • A few more words of encouragement such as ‘I will take care of you. You will be well looked after’ could probably help.

Post Op Expectations

To answer the question, “With regards to explanations on how you might feel post-operatively, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

This feedback summaries it well:
Dr X explained that pain is like a bouncy ball and it is best to contain it at a low level and not wait for it to bounce too high. This analogy stuck with me and was easy to remember. It helped me manage my pain appropriately and I did not suffer greatly.

  • Dr X ensured I was sent to ICU after the procedure to ensure if any challenges arose I would be in a safe environment.
  • Clear information provided and clear instruction as to what to do if complications arose after the procedure.
  • All the discomfort I felt after the op was in line with what he said I would feel – so I knew it was normal.
  • He visited me in hospital after and asked after my experience
  • I had paperwork to explain how I might feel.
  • I felt very informed about post operative outcomes
  • The information was very honest which I liked, luckily I didn’t have any negative side-effects but it prepared me for the possibility and didn’t really sugar coat anything.
  • Dr X told me all the possible complications and all possible side effects etc, very informative and told me everything i needed to know

And some suggestions for improvement:

  • I did receive some information post-operatively that I think I should have received written down beforehand, as I was so stressed and recovering from anaesthetic that I later could not remember what I was told
  • I was unaware about the square stickers on my body only my forehead and was not told what it is
  • Just again perhaps some written follow up info so could see after op would have been an enhancement. Did get helpful texts though
  • When I first took my son into theatre i was asked to sit down with him on the chair and then we put the mask over his face. My son fought it and it took three of us to get it done. There was far more traumatic for him and me than his previous two surgeries when I just laid him straight on the operating table.
  • A little more information regarding recovery and pain management would have been useful.
  • I wasn’t actually told how I’d feel afterwards. So I was surprised when I was shaking and not due to coldness while in recovery and didn’t know it was due to the anaesthetics, until the nurse told me that was the reason.

Online Pre-op Questionnaire

To answer the question, “With regards to the online health questionnaire, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • The questionnaire made it much easier as I felt the morning of my surgery was more relaxed.
  • Mine was a last minute booking at approx 4.00 pm for next day and I was able to go on line and complete the Pre-Op Questionnaire when I got home, and this was excellent to be able to do this at such short notice.
  • Great online questionnaire, you are able to explain your medical situation and medication.
  • It was re assuring to do this in advance as I felt it gave the anaesthetist an opportunity to assess my medical history before the day of the procedure
  • I thought it was a really good idea.
  • It gave that one on one communication between patient & the anaesthetist to clarify matters before the surgery which helps to ease the patients anxiety.
  • I loved this! Felt more like Dr X knew who I was before hand.
  • Very comprehensive survey.
  • He had good knowledge about my health history
  • Thought the online questionnaire was very good/very thorough and makes you feel like you are in good hands.
  • A good idea as it saves time at the hospital but also gives the patient time to think carefully about their medical history and provide full details to the anaesthetist.
  • He adjusted the anaesthetics used based on my past experiences with GA to make sure I didn’t have any adverse reactions or side effects that I did in the past and it worked well! The best GA experience I have had.
  • Very extensive. I did not mind supplying the information. Interestingly this is the first time an Anaesthetist has contacted me prior to an operation.
  • Very simple and efficient method to be able to communicate and ensure key information is shared.
  • Yes. I liked that idea as Dr X had time to look over my answers and therefore could contact me if necessary for further info, instead of having to get all the info on the day of the procedure
  • Straightforward and appreciated that the doctor reviewed and followed up on the questionnaire prior to our pre-op phone call
  • Informative questionaire that covered all aspects of care/procedure.
  • Easy to fill out.
  • The doctor clearly read my form before calling me because he remembered everything I had written
  • Online pre surgery questionnaire was very streamlined and easy to fill in
  • I was completely satisfied. The pre-op questionnaire saved so much time on the day of the procedure.

And some constructive feedback:

  • All should do it!

And we agree…


Patients understand there will be fees, they just want to know what those costs are upfront. To answer the question, “With regards to your Anaesthetist’s fees, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

  • Expertise costs money and we were impressed by all of the experts who looked after us during our son’s birth. We have no problems paying people for their work.
  • It was my most expensive specialist bill however the quality of my experience was so good it was worth it.
  • I was actually pleasantly surprised ( in a positive way) at the Gap I was required to pay post operatively.
  • They were clearly explained on the day before. On some other occasions I have been asked to sign as I waited in the pre-operative area, without any prior information or contact with the anaesthetist.
  • Reasonable fees and this was the first time I had been offered discount for prompt payment.
  • The way he treated us made the expense every bit worth it.
  • He deserves every cent!
  • Appreciated getting a feee estimate on email which I could bpay also they ran it through my health so I only had to pay the gap which is quick and easy
  • I experienced very little discomfort after the operation and felt relaxed before the operation, so feel it is good value.
  • He works hard and deserves his fees
  • Was straight forward and i had no problem at all paying for a very good anaesthetist 😀
  • as the operation was deemed successful the money spent was justified
  • I was emailed promptly with an estimated out of pocket fee.
  • I couldn’t have had the operation without anaesthetic, so the cost was not an issue.
  • Very professional. I liked that I got an estimate straight away

And some suggestions for improvement:

  • It would have been nice to have received a quotation prior to the procedure but this was not a major issue for me.
  • It would have been good to know that in advance, and I didn’t think to ask at the time
  • It would have been good to know roughly how much the fee would have been prior to the surgery
  • Pre op letter regarding payment could be more welcoming, seemed to focus only on financial information.
  • It would be good to have an indication of the cost prior to a procedure
  • I was told the there would be no charge and the got a bill for $500.
  • In future I would like to be told how much it was going to cost me prior to the operation, and not told that I had to pay the anaesthetic’s fee (at the hospital) before they would do the operation.
  • Dr Xs office refused to comply with my request for an informed financial consent form which my health insurer XX explained I was entitled to ask for and receive.

Nausea & Vomiting

To answer the question, “With regards to nausea or vomiting, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • I was more anixious about nausea after the operation than I was about the operation itself.
  • I mentioned I had vomited previously and doctor X said he would give me anti nausea – yay!
  • Slightly nauseated. Recovery room staff were very prompt in administering anti-emetic, so the Doctors order was obviously already charted.
  • Dr X explained that the methods he used reduced the chance of nausea
  • I get nausea and vomit after anaesthesia for 24-48hrs, so he listened to my concerns and devised a plan to ensure this didn’t happen.
  • I had severe nausea .. Dr X was very understanding of this and assured me he would take steps to avoid making nausea worse.

And some suggestions for improvement:

  • Need to have a vomit bag with the orderly when transferring from recovery to room as this movement triggers nausea.
  • No orange juice it was all vomited up in the car and I don’t think nurses should give it to you. Very nauseous for most of the afternoon and evening

Post-Op Pain

To answer the question, “With regards to post-operative pain, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive responses:

  • Pain managed as per plan post operatively.
  • There was nothing that I didn’t anticipate
  • Was in far less pain than expected, and aside from a half dose upon discharge, didnt even need to take the highest level of pain killer prescribed
  • Pain relief was required once home and it really assisted with relieving the pain and assisting with sleep. So there was no pain until I got home, which I was advised there could be some and I was very grateful for the pain relief.
  • Having a written care plan helped a lot to look back on and check on things I can do to help with pain. The more information the better, as once coming out of surgery, it can be a lot of information to process at once.
  • I was repeatedly asked how I was feeling which was very nice/ caring!
  • Gave excellent recommendations about pain relief options for analgesia with anti-nausea medications which have worked great.
  • Dr X also kindly made the time to stop by my bed in the afternoon after he had finished his procedures and personally talk my parents through my post-op medication regime which was greatly appreciated and provided further clarity.

And some constructive feedback:

  • Staff waited for me to ask for pain relief but I didn’t know I was expected to ask so we got behind on the pain which made it harder to control at first.

Cold & Shivering

To answer the question, “With regards to feeling cold or shivering, are there any comments you would like to make?” here are some positive comments:

  • Staff ensured i felt comforted and kept a heated blanket on my skin as much as possible when i was shivering and made extra efforts to maintain comfort and reassured me during this shivering and also extra consideration was taken to ensure i felt decency was maintained at all times.
  • I was told to bring a blanket, and I did, but I don’t think it was thick enough. I wonder if I’d had heavier blankets it might have helped with the shivering
  • It was helpful to know this is a common side effect
  • I was given a warm blanket by a nurse prior and Dr X also give me a warm blanket before I was wheeled into theatre which was very helpful .

Final Comments – Positive Feedback

To answer the question, “If you had a positive experience, please tell us about it” here are some positive responses:

  • He ensured i felt comfortable, safe and secure the whole time and ensured he maintained communication, was accurate and informative in delivering information to me when i needed to hear it and went out of his way to ensure everything surrounding surgery was well sorted.
  • I was very anxious to go into surgery.. Also checking up on me post op to tell me how I went made me feel very supported.
  • I also appreciated him warning me about the possibility of nightmares as a result of a particular medication, and I did have two the night of the surgery, but they were not that bad and I knew it was normal.
  • You were very kind and caring. I felt confident in your knowledge, advice and recommendations.
  • I cannot thank Dr X enough. Before the operation, I was very anxious about waking up with nausea. To the extent, I even said that I would rather be awake during the operation than be knocked out. Dr X contacted me the same day that I spoke to my surgeon Dr X. Then spoke to me twice before the operation putting me at ease. I cannot thank him enough.
  • Dr X was excellent, he was respectful and quickly saw that I was fairly distressed and made me feel very reassured.
  • I really appreciated him treating me appropriately and so grateful he was able to exercise the less invasive airway tube to preserve my voice.
  • He has the best personality and is so positive and friendly, not to mention he is extremely good at his job! He is so knowledgeable and knows what he is talking about! He is amazing and would definitely always choose to have him as first choice over another anaesthetist
  • Thank you for your care Dr X, I felt like you cared about how I was feeling and you listened to my concerns.
  • I’ve never had an anaesthetist take so much time to make sure I had all my worries and questions addressed. He had a brilliant bedside manner which only added to the comfort and helped any nerves I had. Thank you again so much!
  • If I ever need hospital again, I suspect I will measure future medical professionals against the team I had on Wednesday as the benchmark for excellence
  • From my firs interaction with Dr X, via phone the day before my surgery he projected an air of confidence, competence and caring which allowed me to have no concerns as to my safety and well being during my surgery.
  • I wish all anaesthetists had his professionalism & most certainly his kindness & caring.
  • This was my first experience as a patient. Dr X took the time to introduce himself, explained the procedure and reassured me that all would be well. It made for a very positive experience.
  • Dr X is definitely a 5 star rating in all areas of his work, from giving thorough explaination/understanding to patients, being informative, pre and post op symptoms, listening to patients, making the patients feel comfortable and confident in him.
  • I highly recommend Dr X, the passion for his work shows through the happiness of his patients.
  • Dr, X you are the best Anaesethist who has ever looked after me, you put in a lot of research to manage my complicated medical situation and all I can say is I am extremely grateful and lucky that I have been in your care for two procedures and both times you have been amazing before, during and after the procedure. Thank you.
  • The atmosphere was good. Everyone knew each other & could joke despite the serious operation. A big THANK YOU to all involved in my successful surgery.
  • X was outstanding. I felt very confident and safe in his care. From pre-op to post-op, X was patient, clear, thorough, comprehensive and clearly managed my expectations. His expertise during the procedure was exceptional. I am grateful to have had him as part of the delivery.
  • Dr X was amzing, she had all the information I needed, took time to talk and listen and prepared me well for the post operative expectations
  • Dr, X is the best. I was deemed a high clinical risk for a general Anaesethist,. He sought information from various sources to ensure my safety. I appreciate all the planning that went into my care and can not thank him enough.
  • Pre-and-post information was excellent and incredibly re-assuring. Extra effort, including the offer (which I accepted) to take photo’s of my airways if possible and safe to do so show me after the procedure. Clear instruction and direction to provide to anaesthetists in the future to ensure my well being was provided. And, whilst of course skill and expertise is a patient’s number one priority, “bedside manner” cannot be underestimated.
  • Dr X is such a kind and calm person. Came to see me post op and shared his own experience re to broken bone which made me feel a bit better re to my recovery.
  • I come from a nursing back ground myself so it was very encouraging to see such good efficient practise carried out in a very positive and caring way. That means so much when your on the receiving end of it all!!!
  • I was in for a D&C which was emotional and the care was kind and considerate and i was able to get into surgery the same day so i appreciated how quickly i could be seen, the text messages and online forms were great so everything didn’t feel as rushed at the hospital. Bedside manner was excellent.
  • Dr X was so informative friendly and engaged he gave us great reassurance about my 85 year old mother going through the surgery, he calmed a lot of fears, we felt confident that she would receive the best possible care
  • Dr X was informative, funny and patient. This was my first ever procedure and he made me feel very comfortable, made me laugh when he knew I needed it and I’m glad i was in his hands.
  • Dr X is a warm and friendly Doctor and is down-to-earth and takes the time out to speak with you, have a laugh together & address any concern regarding the medical procedure I may be having.
  • This was the most positive and stress free anaesthetic experience I have had. Dr X’s clear communication skills, his ability to listen to his patient’s concerns and his warm & caring manner were exceptional.
  • Dr X makes me feel very valued. I appreciate it a great deal in my circumstances.
  • I was incredibly terrified of my surgery and all that I feared was the complete opposite. I am so very grateful for the care I received so thank you for making my experience a good one.
  • He addressed my concerns and discussed adverse effects. He was already aware of my medical history and made sure to reassess it and make sure it was correct with me.
  • I had a really positive experience with X, I appreciated the care that he provided me and also how he talked me through all the steps / what was happening. Having not anticipated a C-Section, having X calmly explain what was going on really helped me and I am very appreciative of this.
  • Dr X as mentioned above is an amazing Anaesthetist who is calm, compassionate and understanding. I always feel very safe and comfortable under his care and being a highly anxious person that is very important to me. On top of being extremely professional and a perfectionist at what he does, Dr X’s approach has always been warm and personable and I cannot thank him enough for always looking after me pre and post procedure.
  • Going in for my procedure was an extremely sad day for us and Dr X was one of the team who turned these feeling around into a positive experience and gave us hope that there are very kind and beautiful people in the world.
  • I was very lucky to have Dr X as my anaesthetist, such a lovely and caring man who also knows he’s job inside and out! He made me feel very comfortable and had a great sense of humour, would recommend him to anyone.
  • He respected my decisions on even the most minor details. That made me feel respected as a person and not just another unconscious individual they’ll have control over on the table. He was thorough in explanations based on your level of understanding. If I’m able to select him again as my anesthetist for any future procedure, I would definitely ask for him.
  • Dr. X is a model anaesthetist, well spoken, stern when needed and most of all a very nice man.
  • Dr X was exceptional and I want to thank him sincerely for the level of care and compassion he showed me prior, during and post my procedure. He was by my side from beginning to end and that he kept me informed about what was happening around me. He also alleviated my concerns during the procedure regarding some symptoms I was feeling (shortness of breath etc).
  • My experience was far above what I expected, I have never come across a anaesthetic doctor so good he was able to keep me calm and relaxed. I was nervous till he spoke to me ..thank you so much if I was to ever have another procedure done would want it with him
  • All staff involved treated me with respect and dignity and I felt well informed and very well cared for the whole time
  • It was professional, yet personal. I felt they focused on only me. The theatre staff were all friendly & considerate. I trusted my Assistant Anaesthetist & my Anaesthetist. I knew I was in good hands & that I will wake up. Thank you ladies. Pass on my appreciation please.
  • I was very impressed with Dr X. I did not feel like a number as has been the case with some other anaesthetists I have had before. X made sure any questions I had were answered and also ensured I knew what she would be doing at all times. During the procedure as I was awake for most of it I was also able to see the extent X was taking care of me.
  • I have had many GAs is my lifetime and this was the best anaesthetic experience that I have ever had. Dr X’s pre- and post operative support could not have been better and the actual anaesthesia was effective with the least post-operative effects that I’ve ever experienced.
  • The care I received was excellent, everyone was very attentive, calming and reassuring.
  • He cares about, and respects, his patients!
  • Procedure was painless, quick. And Dr. X has a magical calming voice, I felt safe throughout the surgery.
  • Absolutely very happy. Dr X made me feel calm and very well looked after. Explained everything and made sure I had adequate pain relief
  • Appreciate your efforts on the day of my surgery, the talk we had before the surgery was highly comforting specially your reference to your sister’s case made me feel much relaxed. Best wishes to you and your family.
  • X had a really calming effect from the moment he walked through the door right through to the moment he walked out. He explained everything he was doing while providing reassurance surrounding what would be felt and experienced during and following the procedure. He was easy to talk to and made the whole experience for me as comfortable as what it could have been. Thank you!
  • His positive attitude and personality made the experience enjoyable (as enjoyable as wisdom teeth removal can be) he was able to make me feel comfortable and well looked after by him and the team who worked with him.
  • Dr X Was amazing. .. He talked to me through the whole procedure and always told me what was going to happen next so I felt at ease and wasn’t surprised by anything. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
  • Dr X was calm and reassuring through my procedure. He was gentle and explained what was happening throughout the procedure which helped with anxiety management.
  • He is also super personable and I guess, can read people really well and know how to handle them.
  • Dr X was friendly, professional and kind. I felt very comfortable going into my surgery. He even commended on my nails. Made my day – Thankyou!
  • You not only made the process incredibly easy and straightforward, but you made what can be a scary and painful situation very fun!
  • Dr X was very polite and explained step by step what would happen during the procedure which help put me at ease. He was regularly checking on me and asking questions during my operation to check that i was okay.
  • Dr X has a wonderful bedside manner – she is caring, understanding and empathetic and I would highly recommend her.
  • Dr was amazing, kept communicating throughout the entire operation about what was going on and was very calm and reassuringshe was like an additional support person!
  • Dr. X was the most reassuring person i’ve ever met. He knew I was very nervous and scared therefore he made me feel very comfortable. He informed me about the procedure, what to do and what not to do and I feel like he is very clear and informative. I’ve had general anaesthetics in the past and none of them made me feel comfortable but Dr. X was amazing.
  • Experience with X was very calming, she made me feel at ease and comfortable the whole time.
  • Had a very positive experience, felt very comfortable before, during and after procedure – X was very clear, listened to my concerns and reassured me of how he was going to manage these and did so successfully.
  • He was funny and witty, made me feel comfortable…I was very happy with the in theatre preparation, he made me feel very relaxed, cracked a few jokes and next thing I knew I was waking up. I don’t even recall falling asleep.
  • He was polite, professional and explained everything that was going to take place which put my mind at ease.
  • I felt very relaxed and comfortable and Dr X was very professional and very easy to understand and explained procedure clearly.
  • I had a very positive experience and was very happy with the care I got from X. He communicated with me very well during the whole process to ensure all my health needs were met. He ensured he knew all my previous history e.g what antibiotics I’ve used in the past etc and made me feel at ease before my surgery which contributed to a positive experience.
  • I was reassured about the professional ability of Dr X soon after meeting him. He was well informed about my condition. In short he treated me as if I was his only patient even though I was his last that day.
  • I was so happy to receive anesthetic so quickly in the theatre. Before I had time to panic or see the number of staff that were present I was out. The best I’ve ever had – thank you this made my experience so much better.
  • I think she is extremely kind & caring and obviously enjoys what she does.
  • X is probably the most conversive anaethetist I have had. He explained everything well, listened to me, gave me answers and i think modified his procedures in an appropriate manner – although i was asleep so dont actually know. He also had a sense of humour which I appreciated. Interestingly I cannot remember going under. whereas i have for all other surgeries (about 5 in total)
  • My anaesthetic was super friendly and made me feel at ease. He made the whole experience very pleasant
  • My experience was very positive. All my questions were answered fully. He listened to my concerns. Was very approachable and likeable. Provided personal mobile number prior to procedure should I have queries which I thought was wonderful. Felt very reassured at all times.
  • Professional and confident. Spoke with me at my level. Caring and reasurring. A real chatactor made me laugh and feel safe.
  • He cared for my overall health and gave information and showed concern as to why i should get a couple of things looked at after surgery.
  • Thank Dr X for your excellent care during my recent elective c-section. You not just managed my pain but we’re a key support person during the delivery of my son. Thank you for your calm, kind and joyful presence
  • This anaesthetist was charismatic and explained each step of the process which was calming and reassuring.
  • Very positive as its the first time I was not sick after and I felt like anaesthetist listen and created a plan pre, during and post operation to help avoid/significantly reduce any nausea and vomiting.
  • She was one of the most empathetic, professional and amazing clinician I have encountered in my 44 years of age. 20 of which have been spent in Australia/overseas teaching, leading and managing ADF medics/nurses. Many thanks and I wish her the best.
  • I wasn’t excited or looking forwards to the day but my experience of Dr X was beyond my expectations as I thought I’d get some old crusty anaesthetist who turned up and did a job but I got someone I trusted and felt connected to whom I’d recommend to others for his calm and consistent communication skills, the way he interacted with peers on the day, and an overall sense of authenticity that fosters trust and connection. For me, placing my life into someone’s hand like this, I had no doubt.

Final Comments – Negative Feedback

To answer the question, “If you had a negative experience, please tell us about it.” here are some suggestions for improvement:

  • Did talk quite fast especially during the initial phone call to discuss the procedure. It kind of felt like he was reading from a script which I suppose makes sense given the amount of these procedures he would have done.
  • Could have more transparency/discussion about quote and price leading up to surgery
  • Going into surgery I was very nervous about being put to sleep and I could not have received a worse experience in my anaesthetist. He was abrupt, rude, cold and impersonal. Offering no reassurance and no care for clients wellbeing.
  • Felt he was talking down to me…
  • I wasn’t entirely sure how I was suppose to look after myself when I got home in terms of sickness and sleepig
  • I didn’t know I was having a spinal block before going to surgery and that there may be nausea.
  • I’d prefer the anaesthetist had told me to count 1 to 10 while he knocked me out. I was not mentally and spiritually ready yet.

Final Suggestions

To answer the question, “Do you have any suggestions  about how your care could have been improved?” here are some final comments:

  • A slightly more detailed written care plan to take home after surgery.
  • Give the doctor a medal – he deserves it.
  • I did get a phone call late on a Sunday evening, which I would ask to be reevaluated as being someone with anxiety, it made me unable to relax that night and shocked me a bit that I was receiving a medical call at that time.
  • Better instructions to nursing stuff with regards to the nausea /vomiting post op. I couldn’t keep much down and I remember vomitting the second dose of antibiotics via IV but there was no follow up. I had to ask for anti nausea tablets the next day as I was afraid of eating anything.
  • Anaesthetist to slow down a little
  • I would prefer to be more sedated before I went into theatre as having lines put in my arms and things stuck on my head was a bit distressing but maybe that’s just me.
  • I’ve worked in a corporate environment for more than 20 years and am accustomed to a higher standard of communication. I think its reasonable to have expected a much more appropriate and professional manner from him given that he is a medical specialist and I was his client in a particularly delicate procedure.
  • It would have been beneficial to know that I might experience constipation so that I could have been prepared for this. (Not sure how common this is). I was aware that I might experience a sore throat
  • More information provided on the procedure and options given to the patient to allow them to make a considered choice on pathway forward
  • Maybe say that tube will be inserted into throat (I think to keep me breathing), and to expect a little discomfort. Also I wasnt sure that the ‘oxygen’ was just oxygen when I was being put under. it smelt funny. I dont mind. I know it is all part of the process, but I kept thinking about everything and I think that made me more anxious.
  • A follow up phone call would be nice and personal.
  • Perhaps a post operative visit from the anaesthetist would have helped the overall experience. The assistant appeared quite busy, didn’t come back to remove the cannula when indicated, returning just as I was about to be discharged.
  • As I had a prior heart issue maybe a bit more communication would have been reassuring.
  • Music in the pre op room would make you feel a little more relaxed, it’s bright white and a little daunting.


Regarding children, here are some positive responses:

  • As a parent I felt informed and reassured by Dr X about how to best support my child in preparing for his procedure.I also felt privledged to be invited into the surgery room to be part of the initial deep sleep anaesthetic procedure…Thanks for being so open to have me present Dr X..I walked away knowing my son was going to be in good hands.Post surgery it was interesting to hear my sons reflection on how he felt…I could relate to his story of him giggling and his tummy moving because I was there too! 🙂
  • Doctor gave very good description of process, and was calm and friendly to my child. Anaesthetic was applied in quick and efficient manner, to minimise discomfort to my child
  • We had a personal call from Dr X a few days before the surgery .. He was excellent in explaining the procedure and alleviating my daughter’s fears. This made the trip into the hospital on the morning of the procedure far more relaxed as she knew exactly what to expect.
  • Dr X you looked after my daughter X at X yesterday and I felt compelled to contact you to say a huge thank you. It was a very nerve wracking experience for me but you explained everything so clearly, you were so gentle with genuine with her and I knew exactly what to expect, and you checked on me later and let me know it all went smoothly. I really appreciate it and you made the experience a lot easier. Thank you so much!
  • Thank you so much for your care and compassion when caring for my son X last week. I was blown away with how well you worked with him as a young child and with me as a very nervous mum being first time in hospital with him. Your kindness was very much appreciated
  • Dr X is kind and caring and made my boy feel so relaxed about his procedure to which he was extremely anxious and scared about. She was very through even letting him play a game on an iPad whilst putting him under.
  • Dr X was incredible. The experience of having your child go under anaesthetic is very traumatic but Dr X was so good with my son and with me (who was a bit of a wreck). My son isn’t overly great with people he doesn’t know but he really took to her. I thought we were going to have alot of trouble when it was time but it went quite smoothly because of how great her interaction was with him. I was so impressed with her general manner and expertise. I would 100% recommend her services.
  • everything great, treated with respect as human beings with feelings & reasonable fears, easy to get in touch with. Felt he really cared about my daughter & as a result I could trust him to look after her. Thank you.
  • Dr X was amazing with (child name) before and after the surgery. He took on board his previous experiences with anaesthetic and we had no issues at all this time. thank you.
  • I was allowed into the anaesthetic bay and I found he answered all questions and explained the procedure re what he would do as the anaesthetist.
  • My child has had the same procedure 4 times I have dealt with 3 different hospitals and by far today was the most comforting experience yet. He discussed things with me and also chatted to my son the whole way to the op. Very happy patient and family.
  • I think the only thing not communicated was what you do as a parent during the procedure. Your unsure of how long everything will be and where to wait, it’s all very obvious but first timers I was a little unclear. 
  • Really appreciated being able to stay with my son until he was sedated.  My son remembered everything Dr X said, up to a point, and commented how easy it was and everything he said happened or made sense.  The process was efficient, professional but caring and calm at the same time.
  • Dr. X was a great anaesthetist! He made us (my daughter and I) feel at ease from the moment we met him. He explained everything in great detail and nothing was too much trouble. He spoke to my daughter beautifully and she wasn’t nervous at all. Telling jokes as she went off to sleep was a great trick and we were all laughing.
  • I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the trouble that Dr. X took with X’s anaesthetic, it made a huge difference to X to feel relaxed and it made a huge difference to me to know that she was in good hands. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please pass these comments on to Dr. X … he needs to know that he makes a huge difference … every day!

My Child

Finally, here is my opinion. As I started writing this article and reviewing the comments, it had been several years since I had a child who had undergone an operation. However, by the time I finished writing this, one of our children had undergone another surgery. So below are my suggestions:

  • Contact the parents ahead of time, if you can
    Let them know which pain medication they should have on hand. What to expect.
  • Talk to the child on the day
    Make eye contact with the child and address them. Ask them if they have any questions
  • Encourage distractions and comfort
    Welcome the child to wear their favourite t-shirt, bring their iPad, favourite toy, or book.
  • Please reassure us
    I know it’s a typical day for you, but it is not for us. It may be the first time we are leaving our child with anyone other than teachers or family members. The simple act of you reassuring us that you are our child’s support person can mean the world to us.
  • Keep us up to date
    Letting us know once the surgery is over is such a kind and generous thing to do. By a visit or by a simple text (eg. All finished – all went well). We would appreciate it very much. We will not only be sitting at the hospital extremely worried, but our family members will probably be constantly calling and messaging us asking for updates.
  • Pain information that is easy to understand, and remember
    Emailing it before is ideal (so we can read it again and share with the other parent – even if the other parent is an Anaesthetist too!!), or at least using an easy to remember analogy. For example, our Anaesthetist said to think of Panadol as breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Nurofen as morning tea and afternoon tea – this was easy to remember, especially under stress.
  • Follow up
    After surgery, it’s nice to get a follow-up call or message, especially to see if pain is under control (and to remind us what you said). Parents feel so helpless when their child is suffering.
  • Jokes and Stories
    You probably already have some fascinating tales about fighter pilots putting on their masks or astronauts getting into their space suits.
    It’s great to hear jokes too – here are some favourites from my 6-year-old:

Why couldn’t the skeleton go to the dance?
Because he had no body to take

Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill?
To get to the bottom

Why was 6 scared?
Because seven ate nine.

What did 0 say to 8?
Nice belt dude.

Where do cows go to have fun?
To the moo-vies

What is black and white and black and white?
A penguin rolling down the hill

Why did the banana go to the doctor?
Because he wasn’t peeling well

Where do you take a sick boat?
To the dock

Your thoughts?

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