Dunny Design

The fact that my emerging interest in Human Factors/Ergonomics and design (see here) coincided to a large degree with me having to spend a lot of time in toilets due to colitis (see here), has meant I’ve developed a, some would say “unhealthy”, obsession fascination interest in the way toilets and bathrooms are designed. It basically means that every time I go into a toilet or a bathroom, I’m paying more attention to what’s around me than I used to. This will include observing things such as taps, sinks, doors, locks, signage, layout (pretty much everything really!), and thinking about the potential impacts, both positive and negative, that these artefacts, that are “99% invisible“, have on aspects of life such as personal hygiene, public health, privacy, accessibility, usability, aesthetics and so on.

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Progress Notes-By System

This post outlines my medical history organised by system, since being diagnosed with advanced melanoma in October 2013. To see my medical history organised chronologically, see this post here. It remains a work in progress as new issues arise, and as I go back through my records and find things I’d overlooked.

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Casting the Pods Far and Wide

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I first got into them when I was diagnosed with advanced melanoma in late 2013, and my use of them has only grown since. After that diagnosis, I, all of a sudden, had a lot of time on my hands as I could no longer work, and I was spending a lot of time in hospitals and medical waiting rooms. Due to the brain mets, I was prohibited from driving so I was doing a lot of walking and catching public transport, and there were also times where I didn’t want to be alone with my thoughts and podcasts were a good distraction. They have now become a thing I do, when doing something I’d rather not be doing, such as housework and exercise. I’ve even bought a waterproof speaker so I can listen to them while showering.

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Sibling Rivalry

Image Credit: @KassiIsaac (http://kassiisaac.blogspot.com)

I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’ve often thought of the relationship between my home country, Australia, and that of New Zealand as being much like that of brothers. This brotherhood stretches back more than 100 years before the more well-known voyage of James Cook, to that of Abel Tasman. He sighted Australia on the 24th of November, closely followed by  New Zealand on the 13th of December, in the year 1642. So Australia can claim the title of older brother by a mere 19 days, but we also have landmass and population (excluding sheep) on our side as well. You can also see the family resemblance just by looking at our near-identical national flags.

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Sorting the #DudScrubs Laundry

This is where I’ll be picking my way through all the dirty #DudScrubs laundry. Tighten those side-ties, because there’s a lot to get through!

For an explanation of what #DudScrubs is all about, read my more detailed post on it here.

Below I’ve started organising the various tweets into different categories to make them easier to find, and because different aspects may be of more interest or importance to different people. But I think it is the overall picture that makes the case for change so compelling, and that hospitals need to sit up, take notice, and start asking their staff what they can do to make their scrub provisioning system more fit-for-purpose. Continue reading “Sorting the #DudScrubs Laundry”

It’s Time to #ScrubOut #DudScrubs

An unavoidable part of working in operating theatres is the requirement to wear what is formally known as “Perioperative Attire”, but casually known as “scrubs”. While the term “scrubs” is now used to refer to similar clothing worn anywhere in the hospital, the primary purpose of theatre scrubs is to reduce the introduction of environmental pathogens into the theatre environment, thereby reducing the incidence of surgical site infections. Most hospitals require staff to wear scrubs supplied and laundered by the hospital. So essentially, scrubs are a mandatory workplace uniform, supplied by the hospital, to be worn by staff to improve patient outcomes.

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Day-to-Day Living in Suva c.2012

I spent three months at the end of 2012 working in Suva, Fiji as the ASA Pacific Fellow, which was a position they created and funded in order to help prepare anaesthetic trainees for their exams. At the end of the stay I wrote a short piece describing some of the practical aspects of living there with my young family, in case it proved helpful to other Fellows that came after me. I thought I’d re-post here for similar reasons, but also as an historical snapshot as a significant part of my medical career that has had a lasting impact on me and my family. Fiji is a strategic hub for training doctors working all around the South Pacific, so if you get the chance to contribute in some way, I highly recommend you do.

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A Purple Patch for a Power Problem

Part of my job as an Anaesthesia Quality and Safety Fellow is to monitor reports made though our Anaesthesia Safety Monitoring Project, which allows staff to report latent safety threats, near-misses, faulty or badly designed equipment and pretty much anything that might pose a threat to patient safety. Below is the text of a “Letter to the Editor” that I wrote explaining how we were able to quickly and cheaply respond to an issue highlighted by one of these reports. The letter was published in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, and it can be accessed here (login required) or viewed online here by anyone.

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Vale Professor Geoff Cutfield

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Geoff Cutfield earlier this year. He’s had a lasting impact on me as a doctor, anaesthetist and a  human being. Following his death, people who were unable to make the funeral in New Zealand were given the opportunity to provide something to be read out at the service to help celebrate the phenomenal life he lead. Below is my contribution to that celebration.

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The (Often Painful) Way of Wisdom

I recently started the fantastic daily devotional book on Proverbs, “The Way of Wisdom”, by Tim & Kathy Keller. It’s full of little nuggets on wisdom and the messy reality of living in a fallen world, but a recent experience with it had quite a big impact on me, and definitely wised me up! Continue reading “The (Often Painful) Way of Wisdom”