Volcanoes, Virgins and the Middle of the World
Trip Start Feb 09, 2008
2Trip End Feb 27, 2008
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Hello from Ambato Ecuador! I arrived safely in Quito late Saturday night, settled into the very comfortable Hilton Colon and discovered the news of a looming massive volcanic eruption south of Quito... WOW! That would be a great welcome! The volcano in question, Tungurahua, has been active for many years but has escalated so much in activity during the past week that residents nearby have been evacuated and the surrounding area is on alert for the possibility of "the big one" hitting. Dr. Vasconez, the group leader who is originally from Ecuador has reassured the group that if Tungurahua blows the only effect it will have on us is that we may get some casualties to attend to at the hospital in Ambato, which is just 35 miles from the mountain. This could be more of an adventure than I had anticipated!
This amazing group consists of over 90 nurses, physicians, physical therapists, an audiologist from 5 different states
Today was our first day at the hospital called "Regional" here in Ambato. Serving mostly the poor in the area, the hospital is a bit run down but full of smiling staff who seem to be happy to greet us and are graciously sharing their space with us for the week. We arrived at the clinic early in the morning where throngs of people were eagerly waiting in line for a chance to be evaluated. Several in the team had arrived early to set up the clinic and organize all of the supplies we would need for the week so we could hit the ground running first thing
Speaking of delivering babies, I took a break from the preop interviews to help take some supplies up to labor and delivery with a nurse Deana Ward from Birmingham when the nurse in charge pulled us in to check a laboring patient because she couldnīt find the intern... before I knew what had happened we were running this woman down the hall, I was in a gown-gloves-hat in a delivery room straight out of the 40īs, and Marta the charge nurse was yelling at me to cut an episiotomy (no thanks!) . Out came a pink baby boy, no problems with anything and just a small repair. Everything went well and my name is now on a birth certificate in Ecuador! Thankfully, I didnīt have to chart.
For the remainder of the week Iīll be working with Dr. Brian Gleason, and ob-gyn from Birmingham and the surgical team he brought. He has come several years so has a great repoire with the staff and attending MDīs here and has several hysterectomies and bladder repairs lined up for now....Iīll be doing lots of translating , helping out with anesthesia, and maybe some occasional ob work as the delivery room is right outside of the operating room.
Glad to be in Ecuador......Wish me luck and enjoy some photos!