U-M NeuroSurg Project Shunt Guatemala

Name: Cathy Bartos
U-M Affiliation: Alumni, Staff

Where do you work?

Lung Transplant Coordinator

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1993-1994

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Ecuador

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Rural Public Health Nurse

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

The other vounteers that served with me were all so diverse and interesting. They are amazing people. The most successful volunteers were those of retirement age.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

My site was a 4 hour canoe ride into the rain forest. Caring for a young child unconscious from dehydration while a medicine man performed a ceremony as I pushed oral rehydration in an NG tube we made.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

It has had a huge impact. Becoming bilingual in Spanish has opened many opportunities. I was able to teach ECMO in Spain. I have traveled annually with U-M NeuroSurgery Project Shunt on a medical mission to work as a nurse and translator. I have invaluable experience with fever, skin conditions, and GI issues.

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

My UMHS pediatric and adult nursing experience prepared me to know the care we wanted to provide. We just needed to be very resourceful and creative to do so in such unique conditions.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

Definately do not think you are too old. Again the the most successful volunteers were the older volunteers in our group.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

I remain biligual in Spanish. I am much more creative and resourceful approaching problems. I continue to go annually on a medical mission - U-M Project Shunt

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