The 12-person group spent Sunday afternoon prepping the new Surgical Training Center, which opened in December for Nicaraguan veterinary students, for the next four days of surgery. Volunteers helped unpack three large duffle bags of supplies and store them away.
The clinic, located in Barrio Islita, is the latest major project of World Vets. For nine months of the year, the clinic will serve as a training center for Latin American veterinarians and students as it has been since November. From May to August, American, European and Canadian students will receive hands-on veterinary medicine training.
Apart from the usual spays and neuters, this week’s service project trip serves as the first time World Vets leaders get to figure out exactly how the summer training program will run.
Karen Allum, a supervisory veterinarian for the summer program, said the new clinic is better-equipped than she expected. She said she has been on many World Vets trips in which the facility didn’t even have running water. Sunday was Allum’s first time visiting the Surgical Training Center.
“This is incredible,” she said. “Everything is so fancy here.”
After prepping the clinic for the following surgery days, the group established some ground rules. They decided that Monday would be a half-day during which four to five surgeries could be completed.
“It’ll be good to get our feet wet a little bit,” said veterinarian Jessica Rodriguez of the group’s decision to add an extra half-day of surgeries. “Because we are working with people we don’t know, it’s good to work out the kinks.”