National Anaesthesia Day 2018 doctor resources

The theme of this year's National Anaesthesia Day is "Anaesthesia isn't sleep. It's so much deeper". We've developed a range of materials for anaesthetists and other doctors to use and to share with patients.

Key messages for patients

The primary objective of this year’s theme is to challenge the widely held misconception that having a surgical procedure under general anaesthesia is “effectively the same as being asleep”. We’ve developed the following key messages:

  • Being under general anaesthesia is very different from sleeping.

  • No matter how soundly you sleep, if someone tried to take your appendix out, you’d know about it!

  • With general anaesthesia, you’re actually in a carefully monitored state of unconsciousness that is adjusted according to your needs.

It also provides us with the opportunity to educate patients and the general public that:

  • All anaesthetists are highly trained specialist doctors.

  • After finishing medical school and working for at least two years as a junior doctor, anaesthetists then complete at least five years of training to become a specialist anaesthetist.

  • Anaesthesia is one of the greatest discoveries of modern medicine.

  • Most of today’s operations, especially for the very young, very old, or very ill would not be possible without it.

  • Australia and NZ are two of the safest places in the world to have a procedure under general anaesthesia.


How anaesthetists can get involved

In order for National Anaesthesia Day to be a success, we need the support of as many fellows and hospitals as possible. Your in-hospital activities, such as putting up posters and organising displays, will be complemented by a media campaign co-ordinated by ANZCA’s Communications unit.

To help celebrate, we've developed the following materials for you to use and/or to share with patients:


The college has also developed general patient information sheets about anaesthesia that can be printed off by patients or anaesthetists. 

Please consider:
  • Displaying National Anaesthesia Day posters prominently – in hospital foyers or the pre-admission clinic.
  • Setting up a display of equipment and mannequins, with anaesthetists on hand to answer questions and to hand out our flyers and patient information sheets.

  • Drawing attention to your display or poster by attaching the enclosed balloons.

  • Involving your hospital communications team and sharing your activities on social media.

  • Taking photos of your display for us to share via social media (if you're on Twitter, use the hashtag #NAD18, if you're on Facebook, follow us at and in the December ANZCA Bulletin..

What we are doing

ANZCA’s Communications team is available to support or discuss any initiative for National Anaesthesia Day. We will also be distributing media releases to newspapers, TV and radio stations throughout Australia and New Zealand, talking to our health and medical reporter contacts, and organising interviews between key college officers and the media.

If you would like any help or information, please email Media Manager Carolyn Jones or call +61 3 8517 5303 or +61 408 259 369. In New Zealand, please email NZ Communications Manager Adele Broadbent or call +64 4 499 1213 or +64 27 576 4644.

Copyright © Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.