Mar 11, 2014
An Interview with ASCO Volunteer - Claude Denham, MD
volunteering? Why did you choose to
go to Costa Rica?
This was my second trip with HVO (we
What surprised you about your visit to the hospital in
I was somewhat surprised and very impressed with quality
What lasting impressions/effects do you think your
I hope our trip provided them with reassurances that, within
|Chemotherapy infusion center at |
San Juan de Dios
Through Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) and ASCO, we were able to spend a week in San Jose, Costa Rica working directly with hospital oncology staff. We visited two hospitals: Hospital de Mexico and Hospital San Juan de Dios. The facilities were different in many ways, yet very similar in so many others.
At San Juan de Dios, the older of the two hospitals, the chemotherapy infusion room was in a basement with minimal natural lighting and approximately 50 reclining chairs lining the walls. Families stand beside their loved ones due to lack of space.
|Tree of Hope from Hospital de |
The care provided by the nursing staff at both hospitals is phenomenal. Josephine and I were quite impressed with the patient education and compassion provided to all patients. I was expecting to experience a place where the information and care were behind the times. What I found was the complete opposite. The nursing staff is well educated (many have Master degrees) and exhibit current knowledge of infusion therapy standards/protocols. They perform their jobs with enthusiasm, knowledge, empathy, and skill.
|Josephine Divers, RN, BSN, working |
with the local nursing staff in San Jose
For those medical professionals looking to begin a life of volunteering, Costa Rica is a great place to start. We felt quite at home in both hospitals. We were welcomed with open arms and enthusiasm from all staff. Josephine and I developed new international friendships that we hope to continue for a very long time. A dream come true!