Guatemala: Day 1 of Surgery

Day 1 of surgery is complete with 30 people helped. The surgeries started without a hitch at 8 a.m. and the day went well.

The medical team reports the operating rooms well equipped with aged equipment. So, there’s a little stepping back and adjusting.

The surgeries are done at the Obras Sociales. It is a block wide and long complex anchored by a sanctuary but full of facilities designed to take care of the poor.

There are wards for profoundly retarded adults, profoundly retarded youth and severely malnourished infants. These people are deserted by families without the means to provide care. The government doesn’t either.

There are dental clinics, eye clinics, a pharmacy. There is a laundry, a kitchen. The place is spotless as sweepers and wipers are constantly at work.

All in, there are 500 plus employees. Our staff raves about the competence of the surgical suite team that staffs our four operating suites.

None of them have what we describe as conventional medical training. All of them demonstrate a broad range of skills. All of the skills come from OJT as the rotating teams of pros find them as ready learners. They build on their skills each week. They teach each other as they cross train.

They arrive to open the operating rooms before the team gets there. They stay and clean them when surgery is done for the day.

As an HR guy, it reminds me of the fallacy of determining what someone is capable of at first glance. You combine motivated learners and teachers, some amazing results can happen.

We covet prayers as we continue through three more days of internal and gynecological surgeries. 63 more scheduled over the next three days.