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From the OR

Half of the nursing team

We’ve been at the hospital for four days now and this is the first time that I am able to write to you all. The team has had an amazing welcome by the Armenian hospital; from the director Dr. Minasyan, down all the way to the cleaning staff. We arrived unsure of the type of reception we would have, to find that the Armenian team was eagerly awaiting our arrival.

It is funny how the good camaraderie between the two nursing teams immediately happened; maybe it is because an OR nurse is the same throughout the world. From the first day there have been hugs and kisses. The level of compassion for the patients is high here, but the physicians and staff are restricted in the level of care by the lack of equipment and supplies.

The OR can become cramped at times with the amount of surgical participants, spectators, and visitors. It makes maneuvering around the room difficult, but a touch on the shoulder soon creates a path.

There is a large amount of teaching and sharing of experiences happening on this particular trip; more than any of the previous ones I have been on. That is the plus side. The down-side is that this makes the OR schedule progress slowly: However this does represent the Plasticos mission to pass on knowledge and it is our hope to see the Armenian surgeons working on their own at the end of the team’s visit on Thursday.

It’s now Wednesday and one of the Armenian surgeons has completed his first cleft lip and first cleft palate from beginning to end. The results were lovely. Over the remaining two days of surgery the techniques will be repeated to “cement” the knowledge.

Rachel and Brenda

Rachel Russell, RN

OR Nurse


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