The Rotaplast medical and volunteer teams generally arrive at the hospital by 6:30am. The Quartermaster unlocks the supply room and the operating room (OR) staff start to set up the ORs. The medical and volunteer teams change into their scrubs to start their various tasks.
While this is going on, the patients who are scheduled for surgery are arriving in the waiting room. There are two waiting rooms where the patients wait. The first, outer room is the general waiting room, and the inner waiting room, the Intake Room, is where the patients come to be prepped for surgery. In the Intake Room, a Patient Coordinator keeps track of who is in surgery, who is in recovery, who is in the intermediate care room, and who is waiting.
Once in the Intake Room, the patients change from their street clothes into a hospital gown. Some are weighed and have their hemoglobin measured in preparation for the anesthesia. For the children who are waiting, there are crayons and coloring sheets, balloons, stickers, and small toys to play with. Once the patient is ready for surgery, the surgeon and the anesthesiologist come to evaluate the patients and take him or her to surgery.
After the surgery is finished, the instruments that were used are taken to the Sterilizer, and the patient is moved to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) where all the patients begin the recovery from their procedures. In the PACU there are two nurses to oversee the patients’ care. Generally patients stay in the room for one hour. The goal is to have the patients’ vital signs read close to what they were before the surgery, and to make sure the patient is alert before they leave. This does not mean the patient cannot sleep, but that the patient knows where he or she is, and what is going on. In addition, the PACU nurses like to have the patients drink some water before they leave. Before each patient leaves, he or she is given a quilt and some small toys that were donated for the mission.
After the patients leave the PACU, they go to the third floor to the intermediate care room. This is where the patients complete their recovery. Some patients stay for a little while, and some spend the night. Periodically throughout the day the patients are evaluated by the Speech Therapist. She reminds the patients about the after care from their surgery, and instructs the parents and patients how to continue their speech recovery.
To make this mission work, there are many people who have to work together for one common goal: Saving Smiles and Changing Lives. We are proud to say that so far, we are working to the best of our ability to help the most important people: our patients.