Snapshot into The Academic Tessler School of Nursing at Laniado Hospital
“We teach our students that nursing isn’t just about grades, but about going beyond and putting oneself above the call of duty. It’s not just a job, but a way of life. It’s about heart, it’s about touching lives, and it’s about showing your patients you care,” reveals Dr. Ester Strauss, the Director of The Academic Tessler School of Nursing at Laniado Hospital.
The Nursing School was originally opened by the Sanz-Klausenburger Rebbe in 1967, in anticipation of the opening of Lanaido Hospital. The Rebbe recognized that in order to establish a world-class hospital, the staff must be of the highest caliber and what better way to control that than to open a Nursing School. Unfortunately the Six Day War led to the closure of the school soon after it opened, especially as the director of the school was called up as a reservist. It wasn’t until 1977, a year after Laniado opened its doors, that the Nursing School reopened.
The Academic Tessler School of Nursing is a four year program condensed into three and a half years, with a summer semester. Students at Tessler now graduate with a B.S.N.,given by the Ruppin Academic Center, as the Israeli Ministry of Health recently decided, whereby all nurses in Israel need a B.A. to practice nursing. Torah, Halacha and Hashkafa are also taught at the school, in addition to nursing units. Students are also taught how to practice on Shabbat and how to work in a hospital as a religious nurse.
The school’s director and a graduate herself, Dr. Ester Strauss, describes the program as “very cooperative, we try to accommodate our students’ needs as much as possible. Some students are mothers of large families or might have traveled half way across the country to study, so we try and take their lifestyles into account as well.” The school attracts not only students from across Israel, but from the US, Canada and Britain as well. “Our graduates are snatched up even before they graduate, attesting to the great program we run. The demand for our nurses is very high,” says Dr. Strauss. “I would say that our point of difference is how our students learn to take care of their patients. There is kindness, compassion, care – things that are often difficult for a professor to teach, but our students have great role models in the staff at Laniado Hospital.” Many of Tessler’s graduates take up positions at Laniado at the end of their studies, but graduates of the school can be found in hospitals around the country. Furthermore, the school also collaborates with the Ruppin Academic Center, and other schools across Israel.
“It’s really quite amazing, next year we will welcome a third generation to Tessler. Her mother and grandmother both learned nursing at our school. Our reputation definitely precedes us,” Dr Strauss says. “We have one woman from the first graduating class working at Laniado as the Head Nurse of the Delivery Room and another as the Head Nurse of the Surgical Department. We have graduates working in the Childrens’ Wing, Intensive Care Unit, and the Obstetrics Department.” In fact, Dr. Strauss relates a story about a graduate who came to study at Tessler and had just lost her parents and brother in a terrorist attack. To add to the mix she also suffered from attention and hyperactivity difficulties, with the help of the dedicated staff at Tessler, she graduated with flying colors and is now a practicing midwife. “It’s the care and concern that we show for each student that really makes us a cut above the rest. I always say – if we want our students to be humane to their patients, we have to ensure that we are humane to our students.”