Like I’ve mentioned before, surgeries are about to begin. But before we bleach and sanitize EVERYTHING in the Operating Rooms to make them off limits, we let people walk through them:
On Thursday night, we held a reception for all the doctors of Togo. I would say that around 75 doctors came. A group of nurses gave them all a tour around the hospital & they enjoyed refreshments and snacks made by our cook. My job was to simply stand at the doorway and wave “Good-bye” and “Bonsoir” to those leaving. And did I mention that we looked extremely professional? The entire hospital crew wore brand new, Mercy Ship branded, matching, dark blue scrubs. It was the first time I had to iron my scrubs…actually, it was the first time I’ve had to iron anything here! But everyone looked uniformed and put together, including all of our medical visitors wearing suits.
Friday night we held an Open House for the entire crew. Much of the hospital is off limits to the majority of the crew, so it gives them a chance to see what it’s like down there…well…sort of.
So to get the word out about Open House, the ward nurses wore patient coverings (you know, those white thin paper-like cloths that tie in the back but reveal a whole lot?) to lunch with signs on their back announcing the times of Open House. And us OR people put on a skit in the middle of lunch! About a half an hour into lunch, two people dragged our “patient” into the dining hall and placed him on one of the tables. Our anaesthetist was wearing a pirate costume as he “knocked out” our patient with a hammer. After they covered him, a nurse named Missy and I ran in…fully armed in surgeon clothing and goofy hats. She called out “Scalpel” and I screamed “SCALPEL!” as loud as I could as I handed her a huge pirate sword. When she pretended to cut Kyle, our patient, I squirted ketchup that looked like blood out of a tube. She called out “drill” and I screamed “DRILL!” as I handed her a huge drill that we borrowed from the carpenters. And when she called for swabs, I screamed “SWABS!” and ran over to a table nearby to steal their napkins…then we used them to swab up the patient, and Allison Green took the successfully removed tumor and threw it at the crowd that had formed around us. We got thanked for the flying ketchup (which collected in one spot until our “anaesthetist” sent it flying with a pound of his hammer), but also for the entertaining act.
So, needless to say, we had a large crowd walk through the hospital last night. In every room, there was a game or something entertaining set up. I was taking pictures of people dressed up as surgeons, operating on a stuffed monkey with scary looking tools. But other rooms had bean bag tosses, eye surgery videos, a lesson on how to suture a patient, and much much more! It was a blast…and so were our outfits, because our OR team decided to dress up in “loud scrubs”. Basically, we looked like a bunch of 5 year olds tried to pick out our poorly matching outfits…but it was so much fun!