Mission Trip Volunteering: From a Neurophysiologist’s Perspective
July 20, 2018
Neurophysiologist Rachel participated on a mission trip to provide neuromonitoring support in Honduras. NSF works to develop sustainable spine treatment programs and advance the quality of spine care in disadvantaged communities. NSF coordinated and mobilized a multi-specialty team to provide expert neuromonitoring and surgical expertise for children in Honduras where advanced pediatric care is unavailable. We interviewed Rachel to gain an inside perspective of what her volunteer experience was like.
Why do we send NPs from NCS on mission trips?
NSF works to develop sustainable spine treatment programs and advance the quality of spine care in disadvantaged communities. NSF coordinated and mobilized a multi-specialty team to provide neuromonitoring and surgical expertise for children in Honduras where advanced pediatric care is unavailable.
Why did you volunteer to support an NSF mission?
I volunteered to support an NSF mission because I have previously gone on medical mission trips to Guatemala and Ecuador in high school and college, but I was only able to provide translation and tangential support. I am so thankful that through the NuVasive Spine Foundation, I was able to play an essential role in patient care while in Honduras!
What role did you play on the trip?
We performed seven scoliosis deformity correction surgeries between two ORs and I performed SSEP, EMG, and TcMEP neuromonitoring. We tested screws, as well as running a motor after each screw placement and every 30 seconds during correction to make sure we were getting the best possible outcome.
What was your favorite part of the trip?
One of my favorite parts of the trip was when a couple of patients would stand up and walk around for the first time after surgery. I saw how proud they were to be taller than their parents for the first time! Also, four patients from the previous year’s mission trips came back to say hello and thank the team, while showing off how well they were doing. It was so encouraging to know that the same thing could happen to the patients we helped this year!
To learn more about the NuVasive Spine Foundation, click here.