Communication Is Everything

For the last week I’ve been with  International Relief Teams on a Head and Neck surgical volunteer mission in Sula, Honduras where we safely completed 120 consultations and 37 surgeries in 5 days.

Part of the Internal Relief Team to Honduras 2013

Part of the Internal Relief Team to Honduras 2013 Dr. Whitten is on the right.

Most of the 6 team members had never worked together before, let alone met before. This is typical of most of the volunteer teams I’ve worked with. We meet for the first time at the airport, yet we arrive in country, set up a safe perioperative environment, complete our surgeries and manage sometimes serious intraoperative and postoperative excitement and complications as a cohesive unit. If you think about all of the politics and petty squabbles that occasionally occur in our home ORs areas this is pretty remarkable, given the challenges in communication that such groups face. Continue reading