This is the story of Siham*, a former BA student who is also an alumnus of Nazareth’s RN diploma program.
“When I first began my studies here, I did not expect that I would find a family. At that time, my goal of becoming a nurse seemed very far out of reach. I was coming out of a depression, as my father died during the first two months of my studies, and my mother took it very hard.
I felt love and empathy from my teachers and classmates, Christians and Muslims alike. They all supported me for a long time after the tragedy. One instructor was like a surrogate mother to me, counseling me through that hard, rocky road. She has kept me on the right track these past three years.
The love and individual care I have experienced at this school has encouraged me to listen to others who have similar struggles and has taught me that all humans have problems. I have learned how to be kind, yet assertive at the same time. Assertiveness to me means not to be shy or afraid, but to ask for my rights. In our communications course we had to share with our classmates an event that happened to us at work or in our private life that we were not so happy about and rethink how we had handled it.
We were asked to consider what we would do differently if it were to happen again, and prepare an alternative response. This course helped me develop my emotional intelligence. My personality became different. I stopped being intimidated by authority and acquired stronger communication skills. This was noticed during my clinical application at Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Israel’s Central District. A classmate had also been placed there. We both wanted to represent our school well. Our supervisor described my friend as excellent in nursing science, and described me as having strong communication skills. The employees at Schneider also gave us both a lot of positive feedback.
Now I work in the emergency department, and with each new experience I gain the courage to be a responsible nurse and give the best care for my patients. I have been through a lot, and developed a lot through these past three years. I am ready to take on responsibility now.
I am now going on for more education here in the school’s new BA (baccalaureate) program. Some of my classmates went to Haifa University, where they are probably impressed by the size of the campus. But they will not get this individualized care anywhere else. Here, I know many people. The teachers and hospital staff who taught us are all wonderful people.”
* Name changed.
First published in 2010.