Screening Day begins our first encounter with the patients and their families. The patients already have an established medical history with the medical personnel in Guatemala. And although our team has already received some medical information in advance, this is our team’s first opportunity to meet with the patient personally. The goal of the Screening Day is meet with patients, get an updated and complete history and physical, and decide if in fact the patients are medically cleared for surgery.
The Screening Day went very well. The patients come to a general waiting area, wait unit their names are called, and then they meet with various members of the medical team. It is a very busy day and a very busy process. Lots of interpreter services needed, to help both the medical team and the patients understand what is happening.
While many on the team are busy with patient screening, some of the other members; OR staff, Physical Therapy and technical support, were busy all day refining the unpacking processing, and getting their areas ready for Day One of surgeries.
We screened over 80 patients. Some patients were not able to make it to Screening Day today. But fortunately, through a coordinated effort with the local hospital staff, arrangements were made to have them come on Sunday. The medical staff will take the time at the end of Day One Surgeries to screen these additional patients. If they are candidates for surgery, they will be woven into the schedule. This is the nature and the essence of Operation Walk. We leave Syracuse, with our team, our supplies and a plan, but then, adjustments are necessary along the way. This is when the team is at its best. Pulling together to make the best decision possible and making it work.
After the screening was completed, the medical team convened for medical conference to review each case and determine which patients will be scheduled for surgery, and the best way to arrange the schedule in order to maximize care.