Medical Simulation Brings Palestinians & Israelis Together
Times of Israel author Adam Rasgon wrote in the new year about an amazing Medical Simulation training event at Sheba Medical Center which hosted a group of Palestinian nurses from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Since Israelis and Palestinians often meet on the killing and battle front, we strongly believe it is important that they meet on the health and education front,” Amitai Ziv, the founder and director of the Simulation Center, said about these special training events which have been going since 2009. In a place with so much strife, how wonderful that Healthcare Simulation can help “bring about trust and friendliness” to those working for the common goal of saving lives. Let’s dive deeper…
Times of Israel Article Excerpt
Farid, a 42-year-old nurse from Nablus, said that medicine is a field that transcends political and national divides. “It does not matter who you are — an Israeli or Palestinian, Jew or Muslim, local or foreigner,” he said. “In health, we see and treat everyone as a human being. We take this approach in our interactions with sick persons and our colleagues here and elsewhere.”
The course this week brought together a total of 16 Palestinian nurses, 11 from the West Bank and five from the Gaza Strip. It marked the first time that the Center for Medical Simulation concurrently hosted health professionals from both the West Bank and Gaza.
Physicians for Human Rights Israel covered the costs of the program as well as the attendees’ expenses including hotel rooms, transportation and meals. Ran Goldstein, the executive director of the organization, said the total cost was approximately NIS 90,000 ($26,000).
The nurses were taking part in a four-day medical simulation course that has been held for Palestinian health professionals at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan a few times annually for the past ten years. “I have learned many things during this experience, which I will bring back with me to my community,” said a 42-year-old nurse from Gaza City, who teaches clinical nursing at a hospital in the coastal enclave and asked to remain nameless. “It is important because it has enabled me to work on improving my skills without fear that a real patient will be harmed.”
The course took place from Monday to Thursday at Sheba’s Israel Center for Medical Simulation and included various exercises with mannequins related to trauma management and resuscitation. The program also featured sessions on managerial skills, focusing on how to deal with tense situations. In one of those sessions, for example, the nurses were asked to speak to an individual posing as a relative of a patient who was frustrated about the treatment his family member received.
Amitai Ziv, the founder and director of the Center for Medical Simulation, said that the courses at the facility aim to allow the health professionals to learn in a safe atmosphere. “The message embedded in the programs here is let us err and reflect on our errors in a safe environment,” Ziv, who was a pilot in the Israeli Air Force, said in an interview, arguing such experiences make health professionals more competent at their jobs.
“The gap between the health sectors in Israel and the Palestinian territories is huge,” he said. “So we are doing what we can to make it smaller because we believe that the health systems in the West Bank and Gaza ultimately should be independent.”
Ayman, a 43-year-old nurse from Bethlehem, said he hoped he would be able to return to the Center for Medical Simulation in the future. “This is my first time doing a training in Israel and it has been very beneficial,” he said. “So I wish that it will not be the last.” (Main image by Oren Ziv of Activestills).
Lance Baily, BA, EMT-B, is the Founder & CEO of HealthySimulation.com, which he started while serving as the Director of the Nevada System of Higher Education’s Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas back in 2010. Lance is also the Founder and acting Advisor to the Board of SimGHOSTS.org, the world’s only non-profit organization dedicated to supporting professionals operating healthcare simulation technologies. His new co-edited Book: “Comprehensive Healthcare Simulation: Operations, Technology, and Innovative Practice” is available now. Lance’s background also includes serving as a Simulation Technology Specialist for the LA Community College District, EMS fire fighting, Hollywood movie production, rescue diving, and global travel. He lives with his wife Abigail in Las Vegas, Nevada.