The Privilege of Collaboration

Written by Jessica Waldo

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This week I had the opportunity to travel with Solidarity Bridge to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to participate in their oncological mission in partnership with Puente de Solidaridad and Instituto Oncológico del Oriente Boliviano.

Although this is my first trip to Bolivia, I work as a circulating nurse in the OR at home in Oregon and have had previous mission trip experiences.

On Monday I had the privilege of being part of a laparoscopic hysterectomy, a procedure that surgeons at this hospital requested training in since it is fairly new to them. We hope to complete four by the end of the week, in addition to other gynecologic procedures. It has been very exciting to be involved in helping doctors do these procedures in Bolivia!

I feel privileged to work alongside my Bolivian nursing counterparts as well as American colleagues to provide these much-needed surgeries. I look forward to learning more about the role of surgical nursing in Bolivia and having the opportunity to assist my Bolivian counterparts as they continue learning these new techniques to better care for our patients.

My trip highlights so far are very connected to the camaraderie between our team and our Bolivian hosts. Also, my interactions with our patients continue to inspire me to serve.