It's not unusual to see interns in all different fields at any hospital on any given day, but one Sioux Falls Hospital has a pretty unique set of interns. Nancy Naeve Brown met two students who traveled a long way to learn some invaluable lessons at Avera McKennan.
Marlena Abu-Aita and Salam Ghareeb have traveled half way around the world from Palestine to South Dakota to spend valuable time in Sioux Falls at Avera McKennan Hospital.
Salam says, "We try to understand as much as possible. You have here procedures we don't have there. Ones you'd have to go outside of the country to get. You do major operations and surgeries we don't have. I am very happy to see these here. It's a great experience."
The 21 year 4th year nursing students attend Bethlehem University in Palestine and are doing a 5 week internship at Avera McKennan observing protocol and procedures of RN's hospital-wide. We watched as they shadowed Registered Nurse Christa Duncanson in the cardio pulmonary wing.
Salam says, "It's a good chance to come here to get an experience, new experience and to see what the difference because if you don't see the difference for the cultures you won't improve your culture so we are practicing to see what's new, what's different and what's better to improve and implement there."
Retired Avera Gynecologic Oncologist Dr. Samir Abu-Ghazaleh is Palestinian born and is on the foundation board of Bethlehem University. He played a key role in bringing Marlena and Salam here. He and his wife Mary are also hosting them.
Dr. Samir says, "Through my education I know that to be exposed to other institutions of learning will broaden your horizon and I want to do everything I can for the people there."
Marlena says, "We are working on a project about discharge plans so when I go back to Palestine I will implement the project in our hospital."
Salam says, "I am working on a project to prevent blood clots in hospital patients. It's a common problem in the hospital (at home). We have limited resources. "
This really is an opportunity of a lifetime that goes way beyond their two lives. What they pickup here could impact the way Palestinians are cared for in the future and that's pretty impressive.
A total of 15 students from Bethlehem University in Palestine took part in this worldwide internship program. Six came to the United States as you saw 2 came to in Sioux Falls.