Dr Lance Nicholson

Dr Lance Nicholson







Please describe your typical day

There’s an early start to beat the traffic as Anaesthesia and surgery start early. Then you see the first patient or two on the list and afterwards prepare theatre. During a surgical list you will spend most of the day in the theatre. A key part of this will be to coordinate all the staff in the theatre to get everything to run smoothly. There are many other duties including covering for obstetrics, pain rounds, seeing patients in clinic, and coordinating the theatre floor. The end of the day will include a quick review of the day’s patients and a paper review of the tomorrows.


What are the types of cases you typically see?

I work at Waitemata District Health Board and see mainly general surgical and orthopaedic patients. This does vary dramatically from one anaesthetist to another, however the training allows you to gain the skills required to manage a wide variety of patients and adapt to changes quickly. Most people do not sub-specialise until after they finish their training.


What do you like about working in Anaesthesia and about working in the Auckland Region?

 Anaesthesia is highly rewarding and the results of your work are obvious and immediate. You are required to talk to your patients and establish a rapport with them quickly and put them at ease. Auckland, and the Northern region, is a great place to work with a great outdoor lifestyle, all the benefits of a big city life and easy access to both the smaller places in NZ and overseas.


How many teaching hours do you provide your RMOs each week?

There is a lot of teaching in anaesthesia. Most work days there is direct supervision from the seniors and you will rarely be left without support. Trainees are all released from clinical duties for a half day every week for dedicated exam based teaching. Most departments also have weekly formal clinical teaching.


What opportunities are there for RMO professional development?

There are lots of opportunities for teaching and additional training. Research is also encouraged and there are several local courses designed specifically for anaesthesia trainees.


What interested you about this specialty?

I became interested in anaesthesia because of the unique combination of knowledge, technical skills, team work and rewarding nature of the job. I enjoy having a wide range of skills and being a key part of surgical teams. I have grown to enjoy seeing patients in clinic.


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time for leisure activities?

There is no spare time in my day as it is always filled with something. Outside of work I run a small farm, spend time with family, exercise and my latest passion is making wine from my own grapes.

If you are interested in anaesthesia come and have a chat with me. You can also catch up with one of the anaesthetists or supervisors of training in your local hospital. We are all a helpful bunch of people.

You can find my contact details here.

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