Living through change and making a small difference

22 February 2024
2.39 Min Read

By NZSAwebadmin
Living through change and making a small differenceMain Image

Although 2024 is undeniably well underway, it still feels more than appropriate to say ngā mihi o te tau hou to you all. A year ago, I was writing to you during the fresh devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle. 365 days on, and the communities most affected are still piecing themselves together. Speaking to colleagues and listening to tributes I am bolstered by the sense of hope and community, albeit with immense mahi still to be done.

There have been many changes over this past year. Changes to what we see on the news at night and what levels of devastation and horror across the world have become our new normal. Changes to what we expect from the weather, from politicians, and more recently, small changes to what we call our employer. These changes will impact all of us in different ways, welcoming some changes, whilst others will give us feelings of discomfort.

I have personally been reflecting on the eternal question – as an individual, what difference can I make? As an anaesthetist, I am interested in the marginal gains we can introduce in our daily practice – the ones that, as a cumulative whole, bring significance. We will soon release our next podcast episode – a kōrero with Clinical Psychologist Dr Rebecca Parkes. Dr Parkes is an expert in trauma-informed care, and highlighted for me the huge impact this approach can have. How everyone has a story that informs their experience of their interactions with us as clinicians. And most importantly, how we can alter that journey by providing empathetic, proper, trauma-informed care. Much more than a buzz phrase – I think these are the probably not-so-marginal gains we can make as clinicians. I really encourage you to listen.

There is so much to look forward to for the rest of 2024. This time next week I will be on my way to the WFSA World Congress in Singapore. I look forward to connecting with some of you, as well as members of our global anaesthesia community. Importantly, I look forward to the Common Issues Group meeting, where leaders from sister organisations will discuss the important topics that face our anaesthesia community, learning from and collaborating with each other. For those of you staying at home – you can still sign up for virtual attendance at the Congress here.

Finally, I would like to shine a light on the exciting and dynamic event that Waitematā has planned for this year’s Aotearoa ASM, happening in Tāmaki Makaurau from November 6-9, with a perioperative symposium on November 5. Please save the date (and put in leave forms!). The website is live: visit here.

What an exciting year ahead. I look forward to connecting with you and hearing about your gains – marginal or otherwise. Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu (although it is small, it is a treasure).