The pediatrician on this team is Dr. Joe Herbert. He has his medicines and equipment set up at a desk, where he put up a sign that says, ¨They call me Joe.¨
When children are screened the first day, they must see the surgeons, the anesthesiologists, and the pediatrician. Every specialty must clear the child for surgery. I had the pleasure of assisting Joe--if you can call it that, since I don´t know anything medical--while he was screening about half a dozen patients.
Joe has a quiet, gentle demeanor which quickly puts children--and everyone else--at ease, especially since he can also speak the language.
When children come to the recovery room, when they are awake enough, we typically bring in a parent to sit with them and comfort them. Joe is almost always there to answer their questions and explain post-operative care and medications, as he is doing in this photo. He also makes rounds on the ward every morning to check the progress of the children who had surgery the day before, and to do a last minute evaluation of those scheduled for surgery that day.
I accompanied Joe on these rounds the last two days, and I am very grateful that he has been so accommodating with me. He always takes the time to synopsize the exchange with the patient and family for me, since I don´t speak Spanish, and doesn´t seem to mind at all that I´m tagging along.
The pediatrician also doubles as the team physician, and if anyone gets sick, it would be Joe who would evaluate and treat the problem. So far we are very fortunate to all be healthy. Hopefully Joe´s services won´t be needed in this capacity at all on this trip.