NSW Management Interns' Blog

Blog posts by NSW Management Interns of the Australasian College of Health Service management


Oscar Chaffey
Oscar Chaffey

ACHSM blog

New experiences

Author: Michaela Cashman, 2nd year Trainee

Date: 22 May 2014

In March 2014, I was lucky enough to shadow a leading Anaesthetist for a day in theatres to experience the front line. This opportunity came about due to helping out scribing at an event, as they needed an extra pair of hands and I was then talking to a senior clinician they asked if I wanted to spend a day with them in theatres. Following on from that, they got the clearances from their hospital and I from my line manager to spend the day shadowing them. 

On the day, I spent time shadowing her:

  • going in and out of different theatres watching different types of surgery
  • bearing witness to the fast paced environment of running 10 + theatres
  • observing prioritisation and triaging of surgery
  • observing clinical handover
  • liaising with management regarding workforce
  • communicating with all the clinician’s to ensure the theatres are staffed and operating efficiently and effectively

To date, this was the best day I have experienced in the program. As a future health manager it is critical to understand and continually be reminded of the pressures of the front line staff and the amazing people we have working in our system. Therefore whenever we are developing systems/models of care/implementing new ways of doing things, it is important to understand the context in which we work. It also reminded me of the importance of developing relationships and working with clinicians to ensure that they have all the appropriate resources and workforce needed to deliver safe and quality care. 

Finally, this opportunity came from saying yes to being an extra set of hands at a function and therefore it reminded me to never say no to anything and see everything as an opportunity. 

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