Saturday, March 8, 2014

What a week!!

At the entrance to Obras Sociales de
Hermano Pedro, where we worked Friday
[From 03-07-14] Even after such an eventful week, it’s seems crazy to say that Friday’s already here, and with it, our last day to repair medical devices in Guatemala. Sorting and loading up our tool kits for the last time, the team packed in the van to head over to the site of Obras Sociales de Hermano Pedro. We began with an eye-opening tour of the facility, which serves patients in a wide variety of specialties, emphasizing vital surgeries but also incorporating several extended care areas. A particularly heart-warming section of the tour was our visit to the pediatric nutritional recuperation center. Here, infants and young children are treated for malnourishment and given the chance to gain the strength needed to undergo procedures such as cleft palette surgeries. After a week of work often filled with frustrations and stresses, the sheer joy of the children and their delight to interact with us was a truly touching moment. After our tour, we headed to our work room to receive the devices we’d be servicing.
Nate works his magic
on a set of surgical drills
The victorious team of Dr. Walker, Casey and Anna celebrate their successful
troubleshooting and repair of a cast-cutting saw on Friday afternoon
Before we could work on these machines the entire group had to suit up in some stylish scrubs. Even though we each had to wear similar attire each one of us donned them with our own unique style. As if that didn’t make the situation feel serious, we were literally working right next to the OR. We knew that the machines we would be working on would be directly used to perform delicate procedures on patients. Pretty soon the room was full of monitors, surgical lights, drills, and saws. Jake and Orlando worked on a surgical light to assess its functionality. Miranda, Mary
One of the monks from Hermano Pedro
thanks Chris for his work in the hospital
Kate, and Daniel found a defective pulse oximeter cable and found a replacement part to be ordered. Michael was our anchor as he was our detective, researching for parts, manuals, and product websites. Casey and Anna performed surgery on an electric cast cutter, taking it apart and making it all better. At lunch the hospital provided us with a delicious meal.

In the afternoon, the team resumed their efforts. Miranda and Mary Kate found the source of a defective automatic tourniquet. Daniel continued work on an anesthesia unit in an OR room, providing the surgery unit with new electrocardiogram cables and recommendations on parts for their ventilation unit. Nate focused on surgical drills and saws the entire day and managed to fix some and recommend correct usage for others.
At the end of the day, each member of the team was presented with a 'diploma' of appreciation for our work at Hermano Pedro. We then took a bittersweet photo with our interpreters and the hospital workers, and after many hugs and private tears shed (Orlando) the team headed back to the hotel.

The team celebrates our day of repairing devices for Obras Sociales de Hermano Pedro and a great finish to our week
After some rest the team enjoyed a candle lit dinner at a Guatemalan Italian restaurant. (I feel like that’s gotta be breaking UN laws or something). Regardless it was a good end for our last working day.
Tomorrow will be our rest and fun day as we will head out to Filadelfia park where some of our team members will zip line and Orlando will horseback ride.

Some interesting facts about our time at 'Hermano Pedro'
  • The hospital performs over 4000 surgeries in one year!
  • Exchanging facebook friend requests with our interpreters led to some interesting explanations for some of our profile pictures.
  • Orlando: "shots fired."

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