H/T: David Frankfurter
From the Midnight Sun to the Middle East
Once they volunteered on kibbutzim, coloring the landscape with tones of blonde and blue. Today they are nursing students at Rambam. As part of a special program, a group of nurses-to-be from Norway is currently completing the practical section of their studies, while gaining an in-depth introduction to Israel
In recent weeks, nursing students from Norway have been found throughout the HYPERLINK “//www.rambam.org.il/Home+Page” Rambam Health Care Center , completing the practical phase of their apprenticeship. These six young women, from schools of nursing in Stord/Haugesund and Bergen, will remain in Rambam from periods spanning between four to nine weeks. This is the second year that Rambam has hosted a group from Norway, in November an additional group from Oslo is expected to arrive.
During the last few weeks, the students spent their time working and learning in different hospital departments. The group also travelled in Israel, visiting sites in Jerusalem like Yad Vashem and the Western Wall, as well as the Dead Sea and the northern region.
According to Nancy Black, project coordinator in the Office of the Chief Nurse in Rambam, the Norwegian visitors are enjoying every moment of their trip. “Rambam and Israel have so much to offer in the area of nursing,” said Black. “The students were exposed to a variety of experiences, events and people they would never have encountered in another place. They stressed, again and again, their sense of cooperation, warm hospitality, satisfaction and enjoyment. They also improved their skills and learned to function more efficiently.” Black added that that her office is now working to expand such programs in future.
The visit of the nursing students to Rambam is the initiative of the pro-Israel Norwegian couple, Sissel and Hårkon Wergeland. The Wergelands, are active in Haifa, where they live six months a year. The two encourage volunteers and students from Norway to come to Israel and become “ambassadors” of Israel in their home country.
The students were impressed by the high level of nursing in Rambam. In Norway, explained Sissel Wergeland, a nurse by profession, nurses are often involved in menial jobs, while in Israel “There are more opportunities for nurses here and they can go further.” Wergeland is now looking into the possibility of bringing to Rambam other students such as those studying medicine, occupational therapy and physical therapy.
“I see myself as a link between Norway and Israel,” says Wergeland. “My husband and I bring young people here so they can see how things really are, rather than how they are portrayed in the news.”
For example, she added, the nursing students were amazed to see Arab and Jewish medical staff working in harmony. “They always hear about troubles, but in Rambam, they saw only cooperation.”