Jeanette B. and Ari M. – University of Florida, Summer 2016
“We are both interning for Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national ambulatory service. To do this we had to pass an intensive 10 day training course in Jerusalem and commit to working as first responders for the following 4 weeks in the greater Tel Aviv area.
As first responders we have to be patient, responsible, and quick thinking. We wake up every morning at 5 to head to our respective stations and work an 8 hour shift. There are no scheduled lunch breaks or resting time as we are always on call, but the constant demand has been exciting.
Calls have ranged from stomach aches and minor falls, to strokes and car accidents. On her second day Jeanette had to perform CPR and bandage a head injury! People volunteer for months without seeing that kind of action, so so far our experience has been a great one. Our main jobs on the ambulance include taking blood pressure, pulse, and keeping the patient company while they are driven to the hospital. Neither of us came to Israel with fluent Hebrew, so that last task has proven difficult but we are learning a lot.
After almost 3 weeks of shifts we really love volunteering with MDA and are looking forward to the next few weeks. We work with volunteers from Canada, England, Thailand, and of course Israel, and feel like we are creating meaningful relationships with our coworkers and growing a lot as future doctors.
Thanks MDA and Onward Israel for this incredible opportunity!”