Stories from the Road
“I wanted to share a story of my favorite, not for profit, Organization- Health for Humanity(H4H). Sometimes, you never get to see the trickle down effect of travel nursing but I have been very fortunate to pass it forward from Solutions.
Last June I started an 8wk placement at St Paul’s Hospital downtown Vancouver. On day two of my first week, one of my co-workers was talking about going to Guatemala with H4H?. What is that? I’ve never heard of that group? I have always wanted to volunteer for a surgical mission but was worried about the safety and isolation ie war zones. I inquired about the group that was going and asked my co-worker what it was all about. Her response was “look it up and see if you would want to join us”. I immediately did and my cell phone rang two days later on a sunny Sunday afternoon while riding my bike around English Bay. One of the nurses involved with the group interviewed me and gave me a few details and we finished the phone call with welcome aboard, See you in Guatemala in November.
This organization I came to understand was a Canadian (mainly BC but with a Alberta contingent) based group of volunteer Doctors, nurses and spouses, that every August load up a container of donated medical supplies on the docks of Vancouver and ship it to Guatemala. It arrives in time for approx. 85 volunteers to spend 3 weeks every November using those much needed supplies to perform approx. 385 surgeries across 6 specialties. Some of our patients come from as far away as ten to twelve hours, just to wait their turn. I was amazed at the professionalism and compassion of my colleagues and the willingness to work 12hr days with laughter and the worst pigeon Spanish we could come up with. Thank goodness, we had interpreters in every Operating room. Often times we had to be resourceful and creative with such a limited pool of medical supplies. All of our patients were incredibly grateful.
As I come to my last few days at St Paul’s with this assignment I want to truly thank Solutions for indirectly giving me a chance to play it forward with such an amazing group of people .As I said, you never get to see the trickle down effect. I will continue my association with H4H and wish them continued success in this worthwhile mission.”
Photos and story submitted by: Sue B. – Travel Nurse with Solutions Staffing Inc.
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