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Rising to the Occasion

August 18, 2023

Jamie Kennedy, AVC 2024, travelled to Sheshatshiu as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of writing.

This photograph was taken while I was performing a dog neuter during one of the last days of our stay in Sheshatshiu. Since we were using folding tables as surgical tables, adjusting the table height was not as seamless as we were used to. I happened to be the shortest member on the team, so when it was my turn to perform surgery, the table would be elevated, the risers removed from beneath its legs, and then carefully lowered to the appropriate height for the procedure before the patient was brought in. Once I completed my surgery, the table would be raised again, and the risers reinstated for the next student.

This was not a difficult task by any means, just one that required some forethought. However, on this particular day we were seeing a tremendous amount of patients. Everyone seemed to have found their rhythm and we were incredibly efficient in the surgery suite. So efficient that when my turn came along, I had scrubbed in, entered the suite, and to my surprise, my sweet and very large patient was nearly above my head!

It was then that I realized we had forgotten to adjust the table. Everything was already set up and sterile, and in our minds disrupting the workflow was not an option. This is where the ingenuity of the team became evident. They acted quickly, responding to the situation by grabbing paint cans for me to stand on - both a funny and effective solution!

I feel that this photograph encapsulated the overarching theme of that entire week. In the face of challenges, we worked together as a team to find innovative solutions. Throughout the experience, I found myself continually inspired by the resourcefulness, adaptability, and genuine positivity demonstrated by each member of the team at all times.

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