Day 3: Finding the Culture of Life

We spent day three visiting the hospital at Austral and meeting current students of the university. Touring the hospital and learning more about their daily operations was a great experience. Speaking with the students helped me to notice some of the cultural differences I has previously missed. For example, upon meeting the Argentine students they went to hug and kiss us. This caught be a bit by surprise because we are more used to a handshake in America. Although the interaction was a bit awkward, I felt more welcome into the community. The overall feeling of Austral is one of hospitality and transparency.

The mission of the Austral Medical center is “[The] pursuit of truth and a culture of life.” The center achieves this mission in many ways. To me, the pursuit of truth represents the values that the community has as a whole. After listening the physician lectures and going on a fairly in-depth tour of the facilities, it is clear that Austral is very transparent. The physicians had no trouble reciting data about the facilities, and they tried their best to answer any questions we might have. During the hospital tour, data collection seemed like a very important part of day to day operations. From the triaging system the moment patients enter the hospital, to tracking the orders of medicine, data collection was present throughout. By using this method of operations, Austral is able to streamline their value-added chain and make improvements. The most up to date and factual data is necessary for making these types of changes.

The culture of life to me represents being on the cutting edge of operations and medicine. Yesterday, Dr.Gabon explained that Austral is constantly seeking to innovate the way that they are performing everyday functions. Innovation to me represents the culture of life because rather than being stuck in old ways, Austral wants to keep improving. Another way that the culture of life was represented was through the friendliness of the staff we met at the hospital. Although working with sick patients all day may seem like a rather off-putting, the nurses we met radiated enthusiasm for the work that they do. It was inspiring to see the passion they exert when speaking about the patient work they do in the pediatric units. With all of this in mind, I hope to take away more of an appreciation for the culture of life when I return to the United States.

The highlight of the day for me was sitting in on an MBA supply chain simulation. The students used LEGOs to simulate a just in time system, and the effects of a push versus pull operation system. Sitting in on this class proved to me that Austral committed to pushing their students outside the box. This also made me excited to continue taking more supply chain management classes at Pitt. I am looking forward to taking Operations Management in the fall and exploring these concepts more for myself.

After another educational day, I ready to try new foods tonight in the city. That’s all for now!

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