Raj Chand, Anaesthetic Technician

There are 12 operating theatres on the main floor at Waikato Hospital and we operate on 55 to 70 patients a day. In an eight-hour shift, I may be involved with one or two patients or as many as 12 or 13 - it all depends on the type and complexity of the operation.

I work as a skilled assistant to the anaesthetist. It's a very dynamic job - in the operating theatre, things can change very quickly and you need to be very focused. I get a great deal of satisfaction from working with patients who are ill or in distress and helping them get better.

I liaise with many groups - the radiology department, the surgical and medical teams, oncology, Accident & Emergency, and the ambulance staff etc. It's very interesting work. No two days are ever the same.

I was a registered nurse in Fiji and came to New Zealand for further work training in 1996. That's when I first worked for Waikato Hospital. In 1998, my family and I came to live here permanently and I decided to train as an anaesthetic technician.

I trained on the job, and did some extramural study for a year before sitting the exams for my Certificate in Anaesthetic Technology.

The practical nature of the training helps you learn because it's applied learning. And the more you know, the more interesting it becomes.

There is a big demand for anaesthetic technicians. The New Zealand qualification is recognised in many other countries.


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