The latest COTA team is finished and was hugely successful by every measure: we saw over 2,600 clinic patients, did 113 surgeries and filled over 5,000 free prescriptions in less than a week. All of our volunteers arrived home safely (thankfully just before the recent storm) and now is our time for reflection. As always, we think back to how we performed, wonder how we can improve and already look forward to next year.
While volunteering for a Children of the Americas team we often find ourselves working in very different roles than we do in our "real" jobs back home. Our volunteers take the word team seriously; whatever it takes to provide the best quality medical care to a very large number of patients in a short week gets done, whether the task at hand is something we usually do or not. It gets somewhat comical to see ourselves in unusual roles. Here are some of the tongue-in-cheek job descriptions we acquire while in Guatemala.
The smiles are not a job requirement; they come naturally from being happy for the privilege to work with such a great group of people and patients.
|Staff Nutritionists |
(also known as volunteers from Kentucky and former Peace Corp worker)
|Medical Staff Liaison |
(COTA volunteer who helped Guatemalan doctor with emergency patient)
|Patient Intake Coordinators |
(Guatemalan volunteer and EMT from West Virginia)
|Patient Ombudsman |
(anesthesiologist from Denver)
|Multicultural Staff Liaisons|
(also known as Guatemalan and American pediatric nurses)
(retired nurse from KY)
|Clinic Providers |
(AKA pediatric cardiologist and hospital CFO)
|Parent Educator |
(COTA RN from Florida)
|Transportation Specialists |
(COTA volunteers helping however they can)
|International Goodwill Ambassadors |
(COTA medical volunteers)
|No title needed here: A happy post-op patient and his grateful father|