60 seconds with Anita Malana
18 February 2019
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?
Working in a surgical field has been a dream come true for me. I remember watching ‘999’ when I was young and I knew then that this is what I wanted to do with my life – care for patients in critical care environments.
I started working at the RFL in 2004 as a theatre nurse. Since then I have grown within the team with different roles and responsibilities. I am now one of the theatre team leaders and love the challenge of supporting my team to reach their full potential to provide high quality care.
Tell us about your role
I am the team leader of trauma, orthopaedic and private theatres. My main job is to ensure that the service runs well, and patients’ surgical needs are met by ensuring there is the right team with the right skills and equipment to care for and treat our patients, as safety is our top priority.
Can you describe an average day?
I start at 8am, check the operating lists for the day, then meet up with the team. We have a brief discussion of the day’s plans and get the theatre ready for surgery.
The multi-disciplinary team will have a safety briefing in the morning to discuss the day’s lists and identify the first patient. This process is repeated until the end of the list when the last patient is out of theatres. In between, I need to ensure that equipment and instruments are ordered for the following day.
We also have our theatre safety huddle which I currently lead and facilitate. It is a brief departmental meeting to discuss and raise safety issues and concerns, as well as providing the team with wider situational awareness of theatre activity for the day and to improve communication within our team.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The unpredictability of theatres. We must always anticipate complexity in any procedure and be ready to attend to all our patients’ needs whenever that need arises.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
When I am in my co-ordinating role – staffing is the biggest challenge. It is extremely difficult to achieve the right balance of skills and expertise and staffing numbers.
What would be your perfect day away from work?
It would be in a far quiet corner of a bookshop – just reading.
What can’t you live without?
Chocolate and beautiful pens
Tell us something about you that very few people know…
I find acrylic painting very relaxing; mixing colours, creating different hues and learning different types of brush strokes is just so satisfying and peaceful.