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LAU’s School of Nursing brings siblings together

[photo]
ARCSON has seen six sets of siblings matriculate since its founding.

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April 23, 2015—

Ola El-Danaf and her twin sister Jamal are both enrolled in LAU’s Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing (ARCSON). Jamal enrolled first and convinced Ola, who was then an engineering student, to change majors. “I was very good at engineering, but when I saw what Jamal was doing, it made a big impression on me,” says Ola. “I decided that having a major that puts you in touch with your humanity and helps save people’s lives is much more important. I never looked back.”

Nursing has become a family affair for the El-Danaf sisters. The twins, who are two semesters apart, study together and spend hospital breaks together when they can. Even their parents are pleased: “They are very proud of our choice. We can take care of them now, and of neighbors and anyone in need.”

Their story is not unique at ARCSON, which has seen five other sets of siblings matriculate. Sela Batouzian and her younger sister Serlie are not twins, but are very close and are also both enrolled in the nursing program. When Serlie saw how happy her older sister was at ARCSON and the rich amount of practical experience she was getting, she followed suit and applied. “LAU’s program is great,” Serlie says, pleased with her decision. “At LAU, it’s like a family. They focus on each student individually; they follow up with each one of us and give us personalized attention.”

LAU graduate Alaa Othman, who convinced her own sister Batoul to enroll, agrees. “Compared to nursing programs at other universities in Lebanon and the region, LAU’s is top,” she enthuses. “I wanted my sister Batoul to have the same great experience I was having, so I encouraged her to apply. I explained to her the weight employers would give to a nursing degree from LAU.”

Indeed, Batoul found work right after graduation as a cardiac surgery nurse at Labeeb Hospital in Sidon. “They accepted Batoul immediately into the ICU as a fresh graduate, which is not usually done,” says Alaa proudly. “But because she graduated from LAU and passed their evaluation with flying colors, they immediately made an exception.”

Furthermore, “our three years of training were extremely comprehensive,” she says. “We trained at several hospitals and different floors, from pediatrics to ICU and beyond. They prepared us for so much.” Alaa Othman is currently working with an NGO associated with the United Nations, a vastly different environment from Batoul’s workplace. “LAU gave us an entire course on community nursing. They took us to schools, dispensaries and to refugee camps. We did lots of work on the ground — such as awareness campaigns, screening for diabetes and visiting the Red Cross.”

The nursing program’s successful curriculum is evident in the graduates’ commitment to their patients. Ola spends her nights thinking about how to relieve or distract them from their pain. “I can’t describe the feeling to you. Unless you’ve lived it, you can’t imagine how strong the bond is between you and your patient.”


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