Letters From Ecuador : From this Day on, it was a Blur [7]

“If you are taught by the best, you will be the best. It was an absolute honor to get to scrub for Dr. Novick. It is nice to scrub for a surgeon who expects nothing but excellence, and it is even nicer when the surgeon recognizes your talent, and how hard you work your butt off for things to run smoothly.”

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Author:

LaceyTodd, CORT, from West Texas, who volunteered her time as a pediatric cardiovascular scrub technician.


Formalities …

Lacey & Brian- Taking some time to chill…

From this Day on, it was a Blur

Surgery began on Monday.

From this day on, it was a blur.

I was the only scrub that went, so I had to scrub every minute, in every case. My biggest challenge was communication. The scrubs there did not speak English, and unfortunately, I do not speak Spanish. (I got home and ordered Rosetta Stone Espanol!!)

Even though there was a language barrier, to say the least, the Ecuador scrubs and I got along great! I was very impressed by how much they knew! They would pass on the cases during the day with me across the mayo from them, teaching. Or try to teach…. it is kind of difficult when you don’t know the surgeon’s routine, but heart surgery is heart surgery, right!

But heart surgery is heart surgery, right?

There were two scrubs. One in the morning, and one that worked the afternoon shift. We would usually work through both shifts, then I would pass until we were finished.

It Takes Work to breathe…

The most amusing thing was when THE DR. BILL NOVICK walked in the door!

Everyone would start backing away, and their eyes got huge! I would have to go around and pass when he scrubbed in. They wanted absolutely NO part of scrubbing with him. However,I think that is the best way to learn.

If you are taught by the best, you will be the best. It was an absolute honor to get to scrub for Dr. Novick. It is nice to scrub for a surgeon who expects nothing but excellence, and it is even nicer when the surgeon recognizes your talent, and how hard you work your butt off for things to run smoothly.

That is Dr. Novick. Highlight of my life was getting to scrub for him. I admire him for starting ICHF and devoting so much time to these trips every year.

It always amazes me how “thrifty” we can be in other countries. It was not uncommon for us to wash, and resterilize almost everything! Perfusion cannulas, suture, sternal wires, Iobans, pump suckers, etc. The hospital did not have Raytec, so we just used 4 X 4 gauze, no needle boards, and they would warm the saline solution in the microwave. I am always so appreciative when I get back to the states and have endless amount of inventory at our fingertips!

On Friday- I was a Zombie…

It seemed like every day that passed got longer, and harder. A couple of nights I was so tired and hungry when I got back to the hotel, I would wake up with half eaten crackers in my mouth! On Friday I was a zombie.

It’s NOT a Caviar & Champagne Life Style ….

We had 4 scheduled cases for the day, then I would be back on the plane to head home. I was set to leave the hotel at 8:00am Saturday morning, and at 3:30am, I was still scrubbed in! The hospital did not have any scrubs that late, so Dr. Novick scrubbed in and made me go back to the hotel to pack.

I laid everything out on my table that they would need, and ran for the door before he could change his mind!

DinnerIt was either HIM or me….

We ended up doing 14 Pediatric Open Heart procedures that week. The rest of the team stayed and worked another week, bu tI had to get back home to all of my obligations. The trip was so much work, but I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I absolutely love going on missions and teaching the locals how to excel, and how they can help save the children in their own country.

Again, thank you to Frank for introducing me to Bryan and ICHF!

As well as being a scrub tech, I also own and operate Xclusive Tan in Plainview, Texas.

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