A group of medical staff from Phoenix Children's Hospital just returned from a medical mission trip to Guadalajara.
"The Guadalajara citizens line up every morning, so many tokens are given out to be seen and so it's mas chaos in the morning.. in the front of the hospital, there's tons and tons of lines," said PCH surgical technologist Raquel Briggs.
Briggs is describing the scene at Hospital Civil de Guadalajara, a teaching hospital nestled in a low income area of Jalisco, Mexico.
This May, Rachel and 13 other medical staff spent a week there. The team's mission was to bring local surgical residents up to speed in the operating room.
"Minimally invasive surgery in the United States which is laproscopic surgery.. so small incision surgery has been going on in the United States for a couple of decades now and they know lots about it they've seen lots of it, but they didn't have the equipment to do it and they didn't have the training to do it," said pediatric surgeon Dr. David Notrica.
Thanks to a partnership with Medical Hands for Healing, PCH gave the Guadalajara surgeons the help they needed.
Each day, a team of PCH physicians, nurses, a social worker, physical therapist and medical bio engineer trained another team of medical staff at the Guadalajara hospital.
PCH surgeons also helped perform several complicated procedures on local patients, most of whom are uninsured.
"We just not only helped.. we helped around 32 children, but I know the idea and the fact that those residents are hopefully in the future treat hundreds if not thousands of other children.. I think that's the rewarding portion of it," said pediatric surgeon Dr. Juan Acosta.
Medial social worker Nicole Schuren added, "Right now, we're getting surveys back about families' perception and how the children are doing and all of it is wonderful."
Not only did the Guadalajara staff learn how to use the new medical equipment, they also got to keep it.
PCH arranged for over $200,000 worth of surgical equipment donations to the hospital.
Though the mission trip is over, the bond between the international teams remains strong.
"Both residents attendings.. we've all become close. We've become friends and hopefully it will become something for the future," said Acosta.
PCH staff plan to go back to Guadalajara in December to see how the hospital is doing with the new equipment.
PCH and Medical Hands for Healing plan to take another mission trip in late winter.
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