Operation Coqui Calling in is my seventh operation with Team Rubicon, and I’ve been a member for over three years. This my first deployment in a medical role. Providing medical assistance in Puerto Rico has been the most profound experience I’ve had, not just as a TR member, but as a professional registered nurse. The depth of professionals that were flown into the forward operating base was beyond compare.
Where else do you get the chance to dive into your practice with a pack of strangers that immediately become your colleagues? How many chances do you get to muck out an abandoned dialysis clinic and turn it into a fully operational FOB in less than a day? A place we made our home, where we would break bread, decompress and swap notes with fellow doctors, surgeons, physician assistants, medics, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, sawyers, and swampers.
Everyone deployed was amazing, agile, professional, and courteous. Those pesky egos sometimes found in domestic healthcare settings were nowhere to be seen. In a scenario as fluid as the one we found ourselves in every day, it was quite a testament to the caliber of volunteers that showed up for this op. Sure, we got shit done, we knew we were going to do that. What is really cool is even after volunteers left Puerto Rico, they stayed engaged and in the fight, trying to build a better remote medical clinic kit by sharing their expertise with new teams.