Isra, Student Nurse 2017

“I am from a village west of Ramallah city. My mum is from Jerusalem, and now we are living in Mount of Olives. 

It is a place where there are hospitals, mosques, churches, monasteries, cemeteries. Its name, still used today, comes from the olive trees that for thousands of years have grown on the slopes of the Mount. It is also called ‘Jebel et-Tur’, a term meaning ‘mount of mounts’ or ‘holy mount’.

From Mount of Olives, you can see the old city of Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock and the Dead Sea. Different families from different backgrounds are living in Mount of Olives; Muslims, Christians and some Jewish. I am lucky that my parents from different parts in Palestine as I can travel everywhere, unlike other Palestinians. I usually have great time with my fathers’ family in West Bank and also with my mothers’ family in Jerusalem. 

My mother who is a nurse, is my biggest inspiration, she was very keen for me to undertake the course at St John. I have a very cooperative, supportive and close family.

My dream was to work in the medical field so when I finished my high school I chose to study nursing.I graduated from Bethlehem University in June 2016. I decided to do this course as I think it will shape my future profession. especially as ophthalmic nursing is very rare.

This profession makes me proud and confident especially when I care for patients and how much they appreciate my care. 

St. John has an excellent reputation in training ophthalmic nurses. In my last course in the University, I made a visit to the School of Nursing and I met the school leader who gave me an idea about the course and the role of ophthalmic nurses.

A big motive for me to undertake the course at St John was the case of a child who I met during my undergraduate training.   She was from Gaza and I worked with her for a week during my internship training in a general hospital. The child had multiple congenital abnormalities and ended up being referred to St John for further advanced treatment.

Before the child was transferred to St John, the nurse in the Paediatric ward asked the social worker to write a report on the child case asking St John not to charge the child because the family is very poor. This is when I realised that people could become blind just because they were poor. 

Seeing children at St John treated for eye diseases is very influential and inspires me to help children to see the world around them.

The case taught me that a nurse is a human before anything else and should always support patients to manage their social and money problems.

Seeing children at St John treated for eye diseases is very influential and inspires me to help children to see the world around them. Currently, my training allocation is in the children's ward and I care for many children from Gaza. Most of them have congenital eye diseases. I discovered that many children at St. John similar to the child that was referred from the general hospital, and I'm looking forwards to helping many more like her."