Recently, one of SpecialtyCare’s pediatric perfusionists participated in a medical mission trip to Tanzania. Bart Hensler, CCP, was excited to be a part of this mission and believes that he has a unique calling to participate in these trips. Upon his return, we spoke with Bart about the medical mission where he shared more details about the trip and what he gained from this incredible experience.
Why did you choose this mission specifically?
I chose this mission because in the past, I’ve had the opportunity to work with “For Hearts and Souls.” Most of the team are colleagues that I’ve worked with in the United States before. This was my fourteenth mission trip and thirteenth working with “For Hearts and Souls.” I started doing mission work in 2005. Since then, I’ve gone to Mongolia 10 times. Some other places that I’ve been to are Nepal, Iraq, Honduras, and now Tanzania. Tanzania was similar to Mongolia.
What did you do to prepare for this trip?
The hospital in Tanzania had never done any cardiac surgery, adult or pediatric, so it was definitely historic. I was able to contact the perfusionist in Tanzania to coordinate supplies. He was trained in India and Israel, but had only done cases outside of Tanzania. That was a huge bonus, and he spoke English! Novick Cardiac Alliance donated two Sorin S3 pumps and four T3 heaters. We supplied all the disposables, Terumo supplied four oxygenators, and SpecialtyCare generously donated four tubing packs. Cannulas and all other ancillary supplies were stuffed in our suitcases for the trip over.
What was the team dynamic?
The team consisted of every person that would normally be in contact with the patient in a hospital stay. We had 29 people on the trip, including one surgeon, three anesthesiologists, two cardiologists, one perfusionist, one ICU MD, eight nurses, one child life specialist, a cath lab tech, and many volunteers.
Learn More about Perfusion
SpecialtyCare employs the largest professional group of perfusionists in the country. Our clinicians are educated, highly trained, and experienced. In the end, everyone is certified through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, obtains state licensure when need be (depending on the state), and meets specific facility requirements. When it comes to jobs in perfusion, we promote the industry’s standards of care and believe patients are the number one priority. Click here to learn more about perfusion, and visit us here to learn about perfusion openings through SpecialtyCare.