Mateo Ćorluka is the host of the most famous Croatian Health podcast – Human Lab podcast, director of the Human LAB platform and medical technician on emergency reception at KBC Rebro.
Through an interview with Mateo, we learned how hard it is to handle the night shifts and the stress of working at the emergency reception, how he started the Human Lab podcast, why he is an advocate of ice baths and numerous other extremely interesting topics.
The content of the interview
- Matteo, please introduce yourself briefly.
- What did you want to be when you were little boy?
- Why nursing?
- How is the experience of working in the emergency room?
- How do you deal with night shifts and stress?
- What are the most important aspects of human health for you?
- You are a big proponent of ice baths. Why?
- How did the idea to start the Human Lab podcast come about?
- Most interesting guests on the podcast so far?
- What are the future plans for the podcast?
- Do you have any other business ventures that you are planning in the future?
- What would you recommend to young colleagues in the health care system?
Where can anyone who wants follow you?
Matteo, please introduce yourself briefly.
My name is Mateo Ćorluka. I have a bachelor's degree in nursing (bacc. med. tech.) and I am employed at OHBP KBC Zagreb, better known as Rebro. I graduated from secondary medical school in Slavonski Brod, where I actually discovered an interest in man and his health. However, as I like to say, I managed to create something from a hobby that is slowly growing into my primary focus, which is the Human LAB project.
What did you want to be when you were little boy?
How about changing that question to "What didn't I want to be?" Well, I wanted to be anything, but the professions that were in my mind for a long time were: archaeologist, doctor, I wanted to be a researcher of undiscovered areas. At one time I wanted to be a professional athlete, but I was not very interested in any sport as such. I was interested in man and improving his performance, which I later realized.
Nursing was a logical choice at that point. In elementary school, I absorbed everything I could about humans, anatomy, physiology in biology classes. I wasn't too interested in the technical stuff. I wanted to discover how humans function, why we are constructed that way, how humans change, why we age. And I have always been interested in how to keep dear people by my side as long as possible, because I didn't want them to grow old quickly. Nursing was the only one that offered the possibility of immediately immersing myself in that world.
How is the experience of working in the emergency room?
Emergency reception is extremely dynamic and unpredictable. It offers the broadest picture of medicine. It offers the possibility of using manual skills in large numbers. Dexterity, mobility and speed of reaction are required. All areas where I saw my strengths. Definitely a challenge with all my senses. What you see in the movies, we have experienced almost everything and more. Sometimes it is extremely stressful and physically demanding. However, the only branch of medicine that gives results of our efforts very quickly. Which gives a huge amount of satisfaction when we help someone in need. But, unfortunately, I also see the ugly side that I struggle with on the other front, which are the chronic consequences of bad behavior patterns. This is where I draw information, experiences and knowledge from the examples of people in order to act through Human LAB.
How do you deal with night shifts and stress?
Night shifts have their advantages. Statistically speaking, fewer accidents occur during this period, so sometimes the volume of work is significantly lower than during the day shift. However, night work leaves long-term consequences that are irreversible. Loss of sleep during the night hours certainly leads to cognitive impairment and creates additional stress, which is difficult to deal with. We sleep during the day to make up for sleep, but it is never adequate.
What are the most important aspects of human health for you?
The most important aspects of human health are certainly the ability to move freely and without pain, and the ability to manage one's body and thoughts. A person who works on himself every day to improve his thinking and movement abilities creates ideal conditions for a long and healthy life in the long run. Human health is defined by genetic factors and predispositions that play their role and are often the decisive factor. However, there are other factors that, through their action or inaction, can cause damage that renders a person incapable of physical and cognitive functioning in the world around them in the long term.
You are a big proponent of ice baths. Why?
Ice baths delighted me with their acute effects. It's one of the few things that can shake/upset you so much, yet calm and relax you at the same time. Honestly, I don't practice them that much because of the physical benefits that many swear by. Of course, ice baths definitely have benefits such as improving the cardiovascular system because they represent a type of training for blood vessels. However, the benefits that I do this for, above all, I see in the mental strength that I need, primarily at the workplace, but also in the rest of my life. Also, I notice better tolerance of sudden temperature changes. I believe I have reduced the frequency of seasonal colds by taking daily ice baths/cold showers.
How did the idea to start the Human Lab podcast come about?
I started the Human LAB Podcast for absolutely selfish reasons. I wanted to surround myself with quality individuals. However, since time is the most important currency we possess, I did not want to deprive these people of the most precious thing. Instead, I wanted to give them something in return. Therefore, I decided to find experts who, above all, were my mentors through these conversations and give them media space and the opportunity to tell their experience and share their knowledge without censorship. Also, I wanted to share this knowledge with everyone else because, as one guest, and now a very good friend of mine, said: "Knowledge multiplies by sharing". That's how the idea was born, which later grew into a real educational platform for the general, as well as professional population in the world of fitness, health and well-being.
Most interesting guests on the podcast so far?
For sure, the guests left one of the biggest marks, and some of them particularly resonated with the audience. It would not be fair not to mention Professor Goran Marković, who gave an extraordinary lecture on health as a guest. There is, of course, Dr. Andrija Karačić, who discovered a completely new field. But I also like the guest appearances from the beginning, which taught me many life values. Maybe those episodes weren't watched as much as today's, but the conversations from those episodes are no less valuable than recent ones.
What are the future plans for the podcast?
The podcast has outgrown my enthusiasm this year and now has a team of people working together to create quality audiovisual episodes. The plan for the future is to continue to regularly bring new and interesting conversations, increase the frequency of episodes and ultimately bring one big conversation every week.
Do you have any other business ventures that you are planning in the future?
I can slowly reveal some plans for the future. The first step is certainly the Human LAB Hub platform. It is an educational platform that represents a revolution in the world of education. Imagine having access to experts who can answer all your questions in the fields of nutrition, physiotherapy, conditioning, psychology and many other specialties of a holistic approach to man. Well, that's exactly what the Human LAB Hub platform offers you. And all this for the price of one monthly subscription, which is significantly lower than the price you would pay for just one of their services. There are interactive lectures, educations, questionnaires, educational materials, video content, workshops. I'm sure you don't want to stand on the sidelines while the others within this platform forge ahead! The first Human LAB Conference will be announced soon. Also, gatherings throughout the region are planned in order to expand the community of like-minded people and people who work to solve community health problems with the aim of better connection and increased cooperation. And then we move on to the third phase, which I wouldn't talk about publicly yet, but it will be a huge project into which we will transfer all the previous work.
What would you recommend to young colleagues in the health care system?
My recommendation is not to close your mind, but to always remain open enough to new knowledge. Probe and ask questions. Be critical enough during education, but don't automatically dismiss everything. Every crazy idea and marketing gimmick is based on some twisted truth in favor of profit. It is up to you to discover the truth and promote that truth, not a product that is created based on a distorted truth and an added lie.
Where can anyone who wants follow you?
Given that my main focus is now Human LAB Hub platform, I would definitely recommend looking for me there. There's also a completely free part of the platform that anyone can access, so if you need me, you'll find me there the easiest.
Also, follow the Human LAB podcast on social media, especially on YouTube channel under the same name.