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ABSA Cape Epic News

ABSA Cape Epic Stage 2 | A century of care

The ER24 and Mediclinic events team have reached their Epic century as they start the 2018 event. The team, consisting of doctors, nurses, logistic staff and pathology together have served on 100 Epic races between them.

What makes this even more remarkable is that the team performs their duties under the extreme conditions of the Absa Cape Epic. From early morning hospital shifts to late nights, repairing any damage incurred during the day, the team perform with smiles and supportive words for all the riders.

Many returning riders will recognise the faces that staff the hospital, but we felt it time to introduce the some of the experience that makes up the Mediclinic Epic nursing team.

Caroline Murray, a professional nurse (PN), often chooses to stay out the limelight. She is the heart and soul of the nursing team at any event and fills the role of Clinical Logistics Co-ordinator for Mediclinic Corporate Events. Planning, scheduling, organising, ordering – her scope of practice is exceptionally broad for any event. On the race Caro becomes the conductor of the orchestra allocating resources as the race hospital ebbs and flows. Caro has completed 10 Epics but has a list longer than most of the events she has supported.

When she is asked what keeps her coming back for more, her answer is emphatic – “Camaraderie!” It’s that simple – the idea that everyone has come to rely on each other to provide the best possible clinical performance. Everyone takes pride in the care they deliver, and have worked hard to earn a spot on the “Epic Team”. Her outlook is simple, her and Race Doctor Jann Killops will not ask anyone in the team to do something they are not willing to do themselves.

Randall Rhodes can be found treating saddles sores most mornings. Randall has many years of experience in ICU and trauma units and is rostered for his 11th event in 2018. Running an emergency centre in Mitchells Plain has given the broadest of insight to this loyal team member. He is the quintessential ‘bum clinic expert’.

The other half of the saddle sore clan is PN Ainslie Mc Clarty, with 6 Epics completed her big personality lights up the race hospital. Outside of events, Ainslie volunteers for Doctors Without Borders (or MSF) where she accesses the remotest areas to deliver essential care. But her heart stretches even further as she is actively involved in community upliftment as well.

Sanet van Rooyen, also a senior professional nurse, is a graduate of the Epics and has stood tall in the ICU for 6 races. A ‘right hand man’ for any event, Sanet can be relied upon for delivering the best possible care in extreme situations.

The other side of the coin is Deirdre Pedersen, who not only handles the ICU with skill, but is also an asset in training others to deliver the expertise Mediclinic is known for. As a strong leader, she is dynamic and an asset to any team. Deidre is a ‘novice’ to the Absa Cape Epic but has earned her stripes by assisting at other large scale events with the team. Her words are simple, “The experience is phenomenal and I love the teamwork that is present. To me sports medicine is exciting and I love getting involved.”

Veronica Austin also contributes greatly to the ICU team with her expertise across sporting codes, she is known for her sense of humour and inspires all with her enthusiasm.

While not many can guess it, Nichola Oakes has her background in the military. She is a Captain at 2Military hospital in Cape Town and offers the world of experience to the Epic wound care clinic. A strong leader and dedicated team member in any race hospital. “Even on our longest, hardest days we know that our team is supporting us. Every memory of Epic is a precious one. The night before this year’s race I could not sleep for the excitement. Delivering this kind of care is addictive.”

Michelle Wagner is the second team member responsible for wound care. Michelle is a dedicated nurse and also works across different sporting codes. But success in a race hospital depends on more than just nursing care, Morne Visser brings in the added value of expertise in strategic planning. Morne is currently on his third Epic event.

Another gent in the hospital is Brandon Veldsman, who like his name might suggest spends a lot of time out in the field – usually deployed with the golf cart at the finish line. He is an enrolled nurse who handles triage and collapsed riders coming in at the end of a long day in the saddle.

A nurse Dr Jann calls ‘dynamite’ is Samantha vd Berg. An all-rounder in the event team who makes a big impact on those she is working with. So often the energy in a team can be recharged with characters like this that inspire the second wind in other colleagues.

Last but not least is one of the novices to the Epic – Susan de Wet. A cyclist in her spare time Susan is taking time out on this race to work together in the wound care section. She is passionate about her work and the team are sure she will be contributing to the next 100 races under the medical team’s belt!