Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Ship called COMFORT!


The Creoles speak a distinctive creole language, called Krio, based on blend of English and African languages.


.....have 50 beds," said Lieutenant Commander Dan D'Aurora, the Division Officer for Casualty Receiving on the USNS Comfort. "We've got 12 operating rooms; we've got 20 recovery beds. We have 80 intensive care beds, 400 intermediate care and 500 minimal care."  A hospital that is now staffed by more than 550 medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and a variety of surgeons. They boarded the ship in the port of Baltimore Friday evening, arriving there on short notice from across the United States. Now, they are cruising toward Haiti at speeds of up to 24 kilometers per hour.

Henry says he is proud to be in the U.S. Navy and he praised it for its quick response to help the people of Haiti. "Whichever, whatever job necessary that they want me to do, translate or work as a surgical tech or whatnot. I am here to do whatever necessary to help," he said.


Translators will be boarding the ship once it arrives in the vicinity of Haiti. The Comfort's director of nursing, Commander Mark Marino, told medical staff that translators will be available 24 hours each day. "But even then, 100 translators amongst possibly 800, 900, even 1,000 patients, rotating shifts is going to be a super challenge. Just be prepared for that as well. You may have to wait to do something until you can get a translator," she said.


Doctor Etienne says there are about 15 people of Haitian-descent aboard the Comfort. They have been gathering in the mornings to discuss ways to teach the staff about Haitian culture and history.

"When you are delivering medical care, one of the most important things is to have appropriate communication and understanding. And that is what we are trying to do right now," she said.

Each day, a Creole phrase is printed on the ship's schedule so the staff can introduce themselves and communicate with the patients they are dedicated to helping.


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