I've always wanted to do a PICU mission trip, so on a whim I applied for baby heart. I immediately got a response saying that there are some spots available for next month. The timing works out for me because I was just let go from my hospital (budget cuts), so I have the free time. I really miss taking care of my heart kiddos.
Anyway, what have you guys heard about it?
Aug 19, '13
Several of my coworkers (MD, RN and RT) have done ICHF trips. One girl is gearing up for her 10th mission and she's not planning on that one being her last. Everyone I know who has done one wants to do more. I'd love to go but have some issues with getting time off to go. (I'm not willing to work 14 days straight through trades so that I can then fly for a day, work 10 days straight, fly for a day then go right back to work at my real job again. I'm too old for that!) The timing is right for you and the experience will be invaluable.
Our staff participation in these missions has changed some of our practices for the better. Seeing how things are done when resources are limited has demonstrated that sometimes we over-treat... our kids used to always come out of the OR intubated, no matter what their defect, and probably 95% of them had left atrial lines, necessary or not. Now I'd guess that about 35-40% of our kids are extubated in the OR and LA lines are not nearly as common. I really think it's a win-win!
Aug 19, '13
Thanks for the quick reply. The timing is perfect for me since I'll have no commitments with work or personal life. I was actually ready to end my PICU career since I just finished my FNP. However, I find myself reading up on peds cardiac stuff all the time and missing taking care of the kids. I'll always be a PICU RN at heart.
I really appreciate your input. Hopefully everything will go through and I'll be back in action next month.
Aug 19, '13
I've applied and am waiting for vacation time/trip to line up. Many of my coworkers have done them and loved them. Do you have heart experience? You will be expected to teach the locals the basics about heart defects and procedures as well.
Aug 20, '13
I've never heard of this organization until tonight. Wow!
We have a surgeon who has done over a hundred charity international cases. They are mostly brought here by Catholic Charities and Samaritan's Purse. They always come in twos with a translator. Mainly we get ASD/ VSDs. Because it is survivable for a couple years. The more complex defects die in these countries. (We have seen kids from Mongolia, Myanmar, Kenya, Bolivia and some Pacific island I cannot recall). THIS would be so exciting- to get to the more complex defects.
I have two kids in college---- two more years and I can do this kind of stuff.......
Aug 22, '13
I just got accepted. I'll be going for a two week trip at the end of Sept. I'll try to post trip report. I'm a little bit afraid that I'll get hooked.
Mary Jean, if you haven't already, check out their website and youtube videos. The more I read/watch, the more excited I get.