WORK­ING LIFE

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Health - Dr Kieran Ho­gan, anaes­thetist

6.30am I get up, do a quick work­out us­ing the Fit­bit app on my phone, and make the coffee for Rosie and I. Our kids are wak­ing just as I’m leav­ing the house. I walk to the hos­pi­tal ev­ery day. It’s great for clear­ing the head first thing in the morn­ing. 7.30am I ar­rive in the op­er­at­ing the­atre, change into scrubs, check my equip­ment, and pre­pare the drugs for the first pa­tient. Ev­ery day is dif­fer­ent. I could be do­ing plas­tic surgery one day, max­illo-fa­cial the next and gen­eral surgery the day af­ter that. 8.30am Usu­ally, I’ve met the pa­tient be­fore in the pre-anaes­thetic as­sess­ment clinic but if not, I’ll take a med­i­cal his­tory and dis­cuss the anaes­thetic op­tions. Al­most ev­ery pa­tient is ner­vous about ‘the nee­dle’ but be­ing a reg­u­lar blood donor, I know ex­actly what it feels like, so I’m able to re­as­sure them and hav­ing done it thou­sands of times at this stage, it’s over in sec­onds and they’re safely asleep for their surgery. Anaes­the­sia is like fly­ing a plane. Tak­ing off and land­ing re­quire the most skill but even in the air, there’s a lot of dials to watch. You have to main­tain vig­i­lance at all times. On Wed­nes­days, I run the pre-anaes­thetic as­sess­ment clinic in­stead of work­ing in the­atre. This is where I see pa­tients who are sched­uled for ma­jor surgery or who have se­ri­ous med­i­cal is­sues. Th­ese pa­tients re­quire a more de­tailed in­ter­view and phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion as well as mon­i­tor­ing and fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tions. Be­fore or af­ter the clinic, I’ll at­tend meet­ings of var­i­ous hos­pi­tal com­mit­tees of which I’m a mem­ber, like the Blood Trans­fu­sion Com­mit­tee. 1pm Lunch is usu­ally eaten very quickly be­tween cases in the tea room in the­atre, but on Wed­nes­days, I get to en­joy a great coffee and sand­wich at Dukes in Ci­ty­gate. Liv­ing in Mel­bourne for five years has made me very dis­cern­ing about my coffee and Dukes is one of the best. 6pm My the­atre list/clinic has usu­ally fin­ished at this stage and I’m head­ing home. Af­ter din­ner, I love play­ing board games with my three chil­dren, Emily, 10, Ben, seven, and Tom, three. Af­ter that, it’s story time, they’re off to bed and then Rosie and I join each other in front of the TV.

“Anaes­the­sia is like fly­ing a plane”

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