BIGASK

Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch -

BY COLIN VICK­ERY You shot to fame af­ter win­ning What are your mem­o­ries of the show? I re­mem­ber the smell of dust. No mat­ter what you did, there was al­ways dust! Aside from that it was great fun. It was ex­haust­ing, but that was just part of the fun, and I think it’s just my warped sense of en­ter­tain­ment, but con­stantly be­ing un­der the pres­sure of ren­o­vat­ing, study­ing and deal­ing with TV cam­eras was ex­cit­ing. How of­ten do you pick up a ham­mer these days? Swung a ham­mer the other day ac­tu­ally . . . straight into my thumb. Be­ing a doc­tor comes in handy when you’re a clumsy ren­o­va­tor.

has given you the op­por­tu­nity to tackle se­ri­ous health is­sues. What do you hope peo­ple get from your seg­ments on the show? Health and medicine can be daunt­ing and con­fus­ing for any­one, so I try to keep things sim­ple for peo­ple and hope­fully make un­der­stand­ing health en­gag­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. What’s the most con­fronting thing for you in spend­ing 24 hours in emer­gency? Hav­ing to break bad news to pa­tients and loved ones is by far the hard­est and most con­fronting part of the job. I’ve heard that many doc­tors who work in emer­gency get frus­trated at the amount of pa­tients with drug and al­co­hol re­lated prob­lems. Did you find that when you were a reg­is­trar in emer­gency? Dur­ing cer­tain shifts it can feel like your time is be­ing taken up, mostly by in­tox­i­cated peo­ple, and it can def­i­nitely get frus­trat­ing . . . but it’s part of the job and you have to find ways to man­age. But I will not tol­er­ate ver­bal or phys­i­cal abuse to nurs­ing staff. They do an amaz­ing job un­der ex­tremely tough con­di­tions. Your spe­cial re­port on emer­gency work (screen­ing tonight) is set to show things from both the pa­tients’ and doc­tors’ sides. So what do you think of Aus­tralia’s hos­pi­tal sys­tem? The doc­tors, nurses, al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als, re­searchers in this coun­try un­dergo world class train­ing and do an amaz­ing job. What sort of qual­i­ties does a doc­tor need to shine in emer­gency? If you don’t faint at the sight of blood, vomit when peo­ple talk about their bowel habits and get turned off par­ent­ing by snotty-nosed chil­dren then you tick a lot of the boxes. Throw in a level head, a pas­sion for the un­pre­dictable and a dash of hu­mour and you’re there. The 7PM Project, Chan­nel 10, week­nights, 7pm

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