Pacific spotlight: Praneel Shankar – Making a difference in emergency care nursing

27 Sep 2023

In the heart of Fiji's healthcare system, there is a passionate advocate for education and a staunch supporter of improving emergency care. Meet Praneel Shankar, a seasoned Emergency Nurse whose journey began in 2012 at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital based in Suva, Fiji. His story is one of dedication, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge to enhance patient outcomes and healthcare practices. An emerging nurse leader in Fiji, Praneel’s knack for challenging decisions and rationalising care protocols led him to a fulfilling career in emergency nursing.

Praneel’s career took a unique turn when he served as a nurse during military deployments. His role as a Company Medic exposed him to the rigours of emergency care in challenging and resource-limited settings.

Managing patients on the field forced improvisation and sparked innovative solutions for providing optimal patient care with limited resources.

Praneel first connected with the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) in 2019, when he participated in the Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) course. Praneel went onto become a local instructor of the course and worked with the NCCTRC Regional Engagement Program to facilitate courses across Fiji and more recently, the Pacific region. “The formal education has upgraded my approach towards nursing patients in ED. It has helped me grow my managerial skills within the department and set a plan focused on preparedness and response."

Triaging Multiple Casualties

For Praneel, MIMMS is a daily mantra for preparedness – and preparedness and response are paramount in emergency care. “The level of preparedness will have a direct impact on the response rate and then it will be reflected in the patient outcome along their journey to discharge. MIMMS has taught me the importance of this and is now used on a daily basis.” This philosophy now guides his daily practices, ensuring that he and his team are always ready to provide the best care possible.

With support from the NCCTRC, Praneel is currently completing his Masters in Emergency Nursing at the Fiji National University. In Praneel's eyes, ongoing training and professional development are essential in the field of emergency nursing.

Managing patients on the field forced improvisation and sparked innovative solutions for providing optimal patient care with limited resources.

Looking ahead, Praneel aspires to have a broader impact on emergency care nursing in Fiji and firmly believes that education and training for healthcare staff are the pillars of improved patient outcomes and elevated healthcare practices. His dedication to education and continuous improvement serves as an inspiration for healthcare professionals, promising better care for patients in need.

AUSMAT; Australian Medical Assistance Team; NCCTRC; National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre

Carla Yeung
Communications and Digital Engagement Officer

Supporting digital content creation, social media coverage and brand management, Carla is passionate about effective communication and digital outreach. With a background in social media, communications and community engagement roles, Carla combines her diverse experiences to create engaging content, leveraging online platforms to connect, inform, and engage with the public.