Rick Vilela, an anesthesia technician and licensed nurse, chose to write his profile in first person. Enjoy!
Okay, here's my story... My name is Rick Vilela. I'm 39 years young and am currently employed at Tri-City Surgery Department as an anesthesia technician and a licensed nurse. I have been working in surgery the past two years, and prior to that I worked in the Emergency Department for 18 years (8 at Tri-City Medical Center and the prior 10 at Scripps Encinitas).
I am married to my high school sweatheart, Sandy, and we will be having our 21st anniversary in July. She is also a licensed nurse and is employed by the Elizabeth Hospice. We have a beautiful daughter, Natasha, who is 20 years old and currently in college for her Bachelor's in nursing.
As a family, we enjoy camping, fishing and off roading.
What separates me from other anesthesia techs is the fact that I'm a LVN (licensed vocational nurse) and as such, my focus is on patient care. I always ensure that my patients have the best possible experience during what is already a difficult time in their life.
What do I bring to the team? A strong desire to help, experience, commitment to our cause, knowledge and a good sense of humor.
I can thank Dr. Cepero for getting me involved with this mission. I have always wanted to be part of something as great as what we are about to accomplish, but had no idea of how to begin. Now, I hope to participate every year, and my entire family would like to help as well.
This is more than just a medical mission, but I feel it's an adventure as well. There is an uncertainty as to our patient population and their needs. We have to overcome language barriers, obtain supplies and give care both physical and spiritual to a group of people who without our help may not have been able to receive treatment for their conditions. This is all part of the adventure.
What am I most looking forward to besides being a part of the fantastic team Dr. Brody has assembled? Being a part of the team that will be putting smiles on the faces of the children at Casa Barnabe and helping to do the same to the people in the surrounding area.
I hope to gain knowledge and patience that will help me in my every day practice. I also hope to gain spiritual and personal strength as well, and to create new friendships.
I have no idea what lies ahead, but I can't imagine not coming back as a changed person.