The physicians are the brains and hands of the team. The nurses and staff are the heart and feet. While the physicians focus on the specific medical issues presented by the patients, the nurses and staff work to integrate the medical procedures with the patient's world. They seek to ease the anxieties of families who have come to a strange place and are confronted with people in strange clothes who do not speak their language.
A few members of the team do speak the local Kannada tongue, and the Rotarians from Bangalore North are on hand to act as translators. A few of the local surgery nurses also speak English and assist with communication.
Grandfather in his dhoti with his grandson who had surgery the day before
The hospital provides housing and meals for the patients and their families for the entire two-week mission, though some of the patients who live nearby do return home if they do not have an immediate surgery date. Every day new families appear at our door having just learned of the mission. They are screened and, if appropriate, they are added to the surgery schedule. While we continue to receive small children with cleft lips and palates, we also continue to see a lot of burn victims, many of whom are older adults.
Siblings are also present, playing in the residential wards.
Sisters wait in the ward