Nicoline and a patient
in the operating room

January 2017
Nicoline Kooger

Born in Holland, Nicoline Kooger lives in Switzerland since age 13. After studying medicine, she wanted to become an anesthesiologist. At that time, she decided to get involved in humanitarian aid, and before starting her new anesthesia training, she went to Mozambique with Médecins sans frontières (Doctors without borders).

A few years later, having thoroughly enjoyed her first experience as a volunteer, she wanted to get involved once more. She first heard about the CHK and Morija from Dr Hügli, with whom she is working. In January 2015, Nicoline undertook her first mission at the CHK and came back a second time in November 2016. "It is important that everyone donates some time to help", she says.

Nicoline was pleasantly surprised by the operating room equipment. "Even though it is not high-tech, the basics are there, and it is more than adequate to perform relatively simple surgical procedures."
The totally different surgical practice also made a lasting impression on Nicoline. "Pathologies differ, because in Switzerland, the mandatory health care causes people to go to the hospital to seek treatment. And when you are being cared for correctly, generally there are no problems afterward. In Africa, however, traditional healers do not always do repairs as it should be done, which leave many side effects."

Upon medical questioning, Nicoline tries to make the patient feel that she understands his fears of surgery and anesthesia. Her warm and emotional attitude reassures even highly stressed patients.
"I prefer partial anesthesias, more comfortable for patients, and resulting in less postsurgical pains." She considers important that CHK nurse anesthetists should also be able to perform these partial anesthesias and not solely general anesthesias. Passing on her knowledge is therefore a significant part of her benevolent involvement onsite.

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