A CHANGE-MAKING anaesthetist awarded the Don Kendell memorial leader award hopes the accolade brings recognition to the wider anaesthesia department at Wagga Base Hospital.
Dr Megan Farrell was honoured by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District earlier this week for her work within the paediatric unit, reducing fasting times for children pre-operatively among other achievements.
The strategies she has instituted have coincided with major developments at Wagga Base Hospital, including the ability to offer pediatric patients a general anaesthetic MRI service closer to home.
Dr Farrell also explained that the efforts of the hospital's anaesthesia unit go beyond the operating theatre.
"We have significant contributions in terms of pain management across the district," she said.
"We are also the critical care workforce on tap for MLHD in terms of COVID surge planning, so if the critical care services are busy we're the workforce that has to expand to fill that need."
Growing up in Wagga, she completed her fellowship in paediatric anaesthesia at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne before returning to the region where she has worked for the last six years.
"I guess we're very lucky in Wagga, we have excellent pediatric surgical services," she said.
"It's just been nice to smooth out the preoperative things in terms of streamlining the fasting, having a dedicated pediatric preoperative area, those sorts of things that make kids feel a bit more at ease in their perioperative journey."
While raising her own young children, her passion for improving perioperative pediatric services has only flourished.
"Pediatric anaesthesia is the most rewarding subspecialty to work in," she said.
"I have a really good time entertaining the kids as well as delivering quality medical care to them, without them needing to travel to the capital cities to access subspecialist care."
Specialist anaesthetist Dr Igor Lemech nominated Dr Farrell for the prestigious award, describing her as an inspiration and consummate professional.
"Dr Farrell has worked tirelessly with colleagues, both surgical and anaesthetic to lead change within the department," said Dr Lemech.
The MLHD also described Dr Farrell as a role model for others and a great asset to Wagga Base Hospital.
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