This trip has been an experience like no other (this coming from someone that has never left the U.S. before). Mostly, I’ve felt completely out of my element. It’s been a hard adjustment, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve really enjoyed learning about Malawian culture and spending time getting to know our team. We spent the weekend screening patients for surgery and getting accustomed to our new surroundings.
Today was the first day of surgery. I work as an operating room nurse, so being in the OR felt like home. Our team consisted of 2 surgeons, 1 CRNA, 1 surgical tech and 1 OR nurse. The staff at Kabudula worked along with us, so we were able to see their methods in the OR. The schedule started out with 8 surgeries. With added on cases, we did a total of 12 surgeries. We worked non-stop all-day, taking only a moment to grab a snack or water. We didn’t mind the hustle and bustle because we were so absorbed in our work. Overall, the day was a great success. The dental team saw 70 patients and the CPR class had 47 attendees. After today, I am so excited for the days ahead. We have an awesome team doing some majorly awesome things here in Malawi.
Thank you to Allyson, our volunteer operating room nurse!