Thursday, June 25, 2009

Project HOPE Volunteers Get to Know the Comfort

More Project HOPErs streamed in late last night, and this morning, as the patients rolled in to Casualty Receiving (CASREC), the main staging area for incoming patients, our new volunteers began to get the lay of the land.

I tagged along with the Project HOPE nurses as they got the lowdown on all of the equipment in CASREC that they will be working with for the next four weeks. Even though it floats, Comfort is still a hospital—and every hospital has its own quirks, routines, and regulations. And though all of our nurses had worked with similar equipment before (IV monitoring devices, for example, or heart monitors), its tough to use a device if the “On” button is in a totally different place than what you’re used to.

Some of the equipment I recognized—the EKG and defibrillator—but it was a learning experience for others. The “bear hugger,” for instance, which is used to get post-op patients’ body temperature back to within manageable range—above 96.8F—or a Doppler ultrasound pulse reader, used to check fetal heart rate, or the pulse of patients with lots of swelling.

More tomorrow-Jacob

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