Friday, March 9, 2012

Thursday 3/8/12

Just when we got comfortable in Pedro de Bethancourt , we switched gears and began our stay in Hermano Pedro hospital. For more information on the history of our worksite for the next couple days, click here: Information on Hermano Pedro Hospital.

Britney's turn for a hug from Mercedes!
A brief stroll along the cobblestone roads brought us to this nearby hospital where we were greeted warmly by Odra Flores. Odra led us on a tour of the hospital and introduced us to some of their beloved extended-care patients. First we met Mercedes, who has a contagious joy that knows no language barriers. She enthusiastically hugged each and every one of us and even gave Danny the customary cheek-kiss. Quickly thereafter, we met Wendy. With our team lined up in a long hallway, Wendy walked person to person, asking "¿cómo se llama?" She was then generous enough to offer her opinion of whether she approved of each name or else a swift "no me gusta" was given. Congratulations to the parents of Catherine, Rebecca, and Laura for choosing names liked by Wendy. We then met a cheery gentleman who took Corey by the hand for a personal tour of several laps of the nearby courtyard. Our last stop was the nursery where we visited babies preparing for cleft-lip and cleft-pallette surgery. This last stop led well into our jobs for the next two days which centered on equipment commonly used for such surgeries.

Corey caught writing this
blog during work hours
Perhaps an ode to our refined reverse-engineering skills, great progress was made on our new set of projects. Corey, Danny, and Lowell installed a new light source in an endoscope thanks to a donation from Smith and Nephew. Becca and Britney fixed the printer on an ECG patient monitor and brought the unit back to full working shape. Evan worked with Mallette on a surgical headlamp then an oxygen/carbon dioxide monitor. Laynie and Liz also brought an oxygen/carbon dioxide monitor back to life. An automatic tourniquet system, ultrasound prope, autoclave bag sealer, and ESU pedal were all found to be beyond repair by Laura, Cat, and Erica.

Roommates Corey and Danny
competed in a contest amongst the
surgeons for the most ridiculous scrubs
In the afternoon, many of us were given the opportunity to scrub-in on a couple hernia surgeries. Corey, Danny, Erica, Liz, and Mallette watch Dr. Hendricks masterfully perform a hernia repair while providing us with a wealth of information on the history of surgery and his Iowa football days. Meanwhile, Cat, Laura, and Laynie watched Dr. Rodriguez perform a similar surgery, who also giving unforgettable lessons in hernia repair surgery. Both surgeons and their anaestesthiologists were serving through Faith in Practice who sends surgical teams 36 weeks per year.
While walking back to our hotel, we followed the music to find a brass band in the city square playing traditional Guatemalan music. Later, we enjoyed the company of Dr. P's Spanish tutor at dinner. To cap off the evening, some of our group found more live music in town and even Salsa danced with locals!
Erica "the model" shows off her Tango skills with a local

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