Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Project HOPE volunteers work at sea and onshore

Today was an active day for the Project HOPE volunteers as about 2/3 of the crew went ashore to help out patients while the rest helped out with departing and arriving surgical patients down in the medical bay.

Most of the people brought aboard the USS Iwo Jima from the host nations are coming onto the ship for surgery. There are three surgical rooms and one optometry room where they do most of the cataract removals. They do many short stay high impact surgeries to better increase the patient’s quality of life but give them a short stay on the ship.

Corinne Bragg an OR nurse worked in the OR suite on board the USS Iwo Jima. "I helped recover a patient from Guyana that had glass shards removed from his forehead, and above his eye. It could have damaged his eye if it was not removed in a few months. He was very grateful and his wife was with him, he did very well the surgeon was up front with him and provided much comfort to the patient,” she said.

Janet Kinney, pediatrician neonatologist who was able to visit a hospital in Amsterdam, Guyana, described the experience. "It was very interesting and very rewarding I see my field of medicine being practice in a very different way. I was asked to go to the local hospital, which was their neonatal intensive care unit, and labor and delivery. I went there and the nurse midwifes showed me around."

Kinney was also able to help deliver a couple babies.

Other volunteers worked hard at the medical zone one.

"We were able to see more patients today than when I was out on Monday, we had an extremely full day I think we had about nine providers, the pre-op surgeons were there so they could do screenings, the dentist as well as the optometrist," said Nora Hussey a family nurse practitioner. "Personally I saw a little girl, who was about four-years-old who just had a fresh fracture and we were able to get her to the hospital right away."

Photos and story by Kris Radder, HOPE's Volunteer Public Affairs Officer

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