Settling In and Enjoying Successes

Jet lag, 12-hour workdays, exhaustion, and sometimes a rumbling stomach are “part of the deal” on a surgical mission. But what is so very wonderful is that every morning I wake up thinking about the kids we cared for yesterday, and remembering the smiles, the tears, the parents’ expressions of hope, worry, and ultimately gratitude. I can’t wait to get back to the hospital to see how the kids fared during the night. Did her labored breathing settle down, did he drink some fluids, did the bleeding stop, is her pain under control, did the parents get some rest?

The weather has been beautiful this week, sunny and 75 degrees. The morning walk to the hospital is filled with the sights and sounds of the city. Walking into the bustling Thanh Hoa Pediatric Hospital gives us renewed energy. It’s a large and very busy regional pediatric center, with 500 beds and currently about 800 patients.

Today, the rhythm and flow of the CSI surgical day in Thanh Hoa were nice. The team members are all settling into their roles, finding their way around their work areas and the rest of the hospital, and getting to know their Vietnamese colleagues better. We are becoming more efficient and synchronized every day.

The urology and ENT patients that are assigned to the CSI team stay with us in the Anesthesia Department for the first day and overnight. At that time they are transferred to their respective ENT and Urology Departments where they will be in the hospital for several more days.

The surgeons, anesthesia and OR nurses (CSI and Vietnamese) have two cases going simultaneously in each room. With two ENT and two Urology surgeons with us, we are performing cleft lip and palate repairs, as well as the repair of a variety of urological abnormalities.  Some of these can be quite complicated and may require additional procedures in the future.

Off to the last day of surgery. Stay tuned!

~ Linda Sedgwick