Taamaki ki raro - Byron van Niekerk

"I’d like to start by telling you this job is a family affair for me.

I’ve worked as an AT here at Counties Manukau for 11 years – my wife and I met while I was training at Mercy Ascot Hospital and she’s also an AT at Counties : 21 years on the job for her.

Anaesthetic techs are a vital cog in the surgery process. Operations can’t happen without them.

My job includes training a whole bunch of my junior colleagues – it’s called Point of Care Training and I am responsible for the credentialing of ATs within our department.

This year it’s been busy for our team: we are getting through a lot of surgeries, and I am particularly pleased with the work we have been doing at Manukau Superclinic on Saturdays.

These lists are really making a difference to the length of time some patients are having to wait to get seen. We’ve finished those for the year, and we’ll start again in 2024.

Things have changed for our new ATs – they used to earn as they trained but now they have to study full-time for three years and that’s quite a challenge.

Still, this is a very worthwhile profession.

Since coming here from South Africa, I have learned the amazing value of working with the great teams of skilled people who go into theatre every day and make a huge difference for our patients.

It’s very satisfying working for Counties and I would encourage anyone looking for a great career to consider becoming an anaesthetic technician.”

Byron van Niekerk
Anaesthetic Technician

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