Episode 4: Neil Orford - Seeking optimal communication, leadership and balance

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In this episode Assoc Prof Neil Orford from University Hospital Geelong in Geelong, Australia describes how he has had to learn key leadership skills, how he values and now teaches communication skills, how he works on his overall life balance and how he has developed an interest in writing.

Neil discusses topics such as: how he ended up studying medicine after considering being a vet and a mathematician; how he uses regular reflection to optimise his life balance, concentrating on understanding the number of major projects he is involved in at any one time; how he needed to find good leadership training once he became an ICU director in his 30s; how important skilled communication is and how he has become involved in a communication program which amongst other things uses professional actors; how communication skills can be used in all areas of life; the key characteristics of good clinicians; how he interacts with other team-members on a ward round; use of mobile phones on ward rounds and how important a regular presence in the ICU is. The interview concludes with a discussion of Neil's interest in writing, how he penned an opinion piece for the local newspaper and how this was received, where he is aiming at with his writing, and how writing gives him some release from the other aspects of his job. Neil guesses that his colleagues would consider him to be a caring leader and after listening to this excellent interview most listeners are likely to agree.

This podcast was created to help and inspire intensive care clinicians to improve the care we give to our patients by providing interesting and thought-provoking conversations with highly respected and experienced clinicians. In each episode, Andrew Davies, an intensivist in Melbourne, Australia, speaks with a guest for the purpose of hearing their perspectives on the habits and behaviours that they believe are the most important for improving the outcomes of our patients. Things like bringing our best selves to work each day, optimal communication, coping with stress and preventing burn out, working well in a team, and interacting with patient’s families and the many other health professionals we deal with on a daily basis. The podcast is less about the drugs, devices and procedures that can be administered and more about the habits, behaviours and philosophies that can help intensive care clinicians to master the craft of intensive care.

44 episodes available. A new episode about every 18 days averaging 70 mins duration .