FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – The healthcare industry is constantly evolving and improving and community regional medical center is the only facility in the valley with two hybrid operating rooms able to perform highly complex, advanced surgical procedures.  But, it’s the team inside the operating room that really makes the difference. We got a first-hand look at what it takes and what it means for patients.

Alfredo Gomez is an interventional radiology technologist who’s worked in the hybrid operating room since 2014.  The room is a combination of a traditional operating room and an image guided interventional suite– providing all the necessary capability and personnel in one space.

“So, the hybrid part is we’re not stuck to one modality.  So we can accommodate neurosurgery, vascular surgery and cardiac services also.  So we kind of do a little bit of almost everything. So, from head-to-toe if you have some kind of need, we can pretty much assist and take care of you,”  said Gomez.

These spaces allow for a smooth transition from a minimally invasive procedure to an open surgery procedure if needed.

“Every case is different, you know, nothing is ever straight up. We had what was supposed to be an easy routine diagnostic case that turned into a stroke for whatever reason and everybody in the room has to be you know, aware of what’s going on because you have to completely change the room over to be able to do an intervention versus a diagnostics,” Gomez said, “It’s beneficial for the patient because it saves them time in the hospital for one because now you’re not prepping for three procedures.  You prep them for surgery and then you can — it’s a one stop shop. So it shortens their length to be in the hospital, you can go home faster, faster recovery time.”

The flexible design and presence of multi-disciplinary resources allows staff to perform procedures safely and efficiently.  Gomez is one of only four hybrid IR techs at Community…highly-trained to work in the hybrid OR and neurosurgery supervisor, Joyce Interno at Community Regional says the role requires a special skill set.

“We gather all the skilled and finest hybrid IR tech.  They’re trained and they have these unique special skills that I believe they’re the only one who got it.  Because knowing the anatomy of different kind of service line, the techniques, the procedure itself, is already complex, but having all this packed in one, hybrid O-R tech is very specialized–it is a fulfillment for us, knowing that we can serve and provide this safe, patient care to all of our patients and to our family and family and friends here in the Valley.”

“Being able to work in this environment, I know they’re getting top notch treatment because I’ve seen it first hand, from getting a stroke out in seven minutes — you know that’s fast,” Gomez said.