Hola, amigos! Today was Triage Day at the Hospital Hilario Galindo. The morning began at six, with team members meeting for breakfast and fellowship in a dining hall. My breakfast buddy for the day was Taylor McDaniels (RN), who will work as a circulating nurse in the operating rooms this week. Taylor is fluent in Spanish and is very willing to offer her skills as a translator. I asked her why she became a nurse; she explained how it has been a dream of hers since she started watching medical shows with her mom at home. It is so exciting to see someone like Taylor working with Faith in Practice!
After the short bus ride to Hilario Galindo, team doctors and nurses worked extra hard to ensure that all patients were able to see a physician. First, Guatemalan nurses took vitals and recorded the information to pass along to the surgeons and anesthesiologists. Then, patients waited to see the physicians to discuss surgery. Once they were finished, a social worker and data manager put all the information into the hospital’s computer system. At the end of triage, all patients will have been seen and all surgeries will be scheduled. It truly takes a well-oiled machine and flexible volunteers and employees to ensure triage day goes as planned.
One patient I had the privilege of meeting was a twenty-six year old woman visiting the hospital with her father. Nancy is from Retalhuleu, the city where Hilario Galindo is located. She is a dialysis patient, with a tube in her abdomen to help her retain and get rid of fluids properly (she had the procedure done in June of 2021). Once they put the tube in, Nancy unfortunately developed an uncomfortable hernia. Although it is a small hernia, the surgeons still think it best to operate. Nancy is here with Faith in Practice because a different hospital referred her. She will have surgery Thursday and will hopefully leave Hilario Galindo in comfort.
After a long triage day (Gynecology ended clinics at 4:30 – go Dr. Higgins, Dr. Struxness, and Taylor!), the team loaded back onto the bus to head back to Hotel Irtra. Fortunately, there were still enough hours of daylight left to allow for a quick swim before dinner. Most of the team congregated at one end of the extensive pool, and Jill Rosa (PharmD), Kareen Kaltakdjian (RN), Andy Mizerak (Anesthesia MD) and myself especially enjoyed the waterslide.
During a moving devotional before dinner by our team chaplain, Scott Higgins, we prayed by name for all the Guatemalan patients receiving surgery tomorrow. We prayed for safety, comfort, and steadiness as tomorrow’s operations begin. The evening ended on a joyous note as everyone returned to their rooms with full bellies and hearts, ready for a good night’s sleep to help tackle the day ahead.