Posted on 18 September, 2013

Neil Nick

Hello everyone,

This is Neil and Nick here, we’re two of the four Intensivists involved in this cardiac project. We both work in the Intensive Care Unit at Geelong Hospital.

For those from non-medical backgrounds, an Intensivist is an Intensive Care doctor. We are responsible for the patient’s care immediately after they come from surgery, at a time where they are most vulnerable and need close and constant monitoring.

In most cases the patient will come to us attached to a ventilator. It often takes some hours to allow patients to breathe on their own, and this process allows a machine to do the hard work.

We also make sure the patient’s bleeding is controlled, that they are warm and comfortable, and that their kidneys, lungs, heart and other organs are kept in good condition immediately after their operation.

The most satisfying part of our job is to see the patients sitting out of bed, and / or sipping on a coconut just hours after major surgery.

Nick Neil

The background of our patients are of real interest to us. So far this year we have had a lady whose heart disease was picked up during late pregnancy, a fireman who became too breathless to do his job, and a young fitness fanatic who couldn’t lift weights as well as he wanted to, all with severe cardiac disease.

The Tongan lifestyle has been a challenge at times. For instance a diabetic man who had very poor control of his blood glucose due to his love of coconuts, and some very heavy patients.

Overall we have found that our patients have been brave and resilient. This, combined with a great team and some amazing nurses have made it a pleasure to do our job.

Tags:  Tonga,