NURSES Karabo Maimane and Colisiwe Ribombo are back home after spending six months in Norway as part of a health exchange programme.     Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
NURSES Karabo Maimane and Colisiwe Ribombo are back home after spending six months in Norway as part of a health exchange programme. Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Nordic exchange boosts skills for SA Nurses

By VIRGILATTE GWANGWA Time of article published Feb 5, 2019

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SOUTH African nurses who spent six months in Norway have nothing but praise for the Norwegian healthcare system.

Karabo Maimane, 26, and Colisiwe Ribombo, 35, said they had a great experience during their stay in Norway.

Speaking to the Pretoria News at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University yesterday, the duo said they were impressed with the way the Norwegian government invested in the health system.

Ribombo said Norwegians invested a lot of their tax in health. The result was good infrastructure and resources which made it easy for their nurses to take care of patients.

However, she said the work done was similar to that being done in South African hospitals.

“When it comes to duties, we are doing pretty much the same thing; the difference is just the management process that they have mastered, unlike us.”

Maimane added that unlike in South Africa where there were a lot of trauma cases, Norway only had few of them, with the majority of trauma patients being orthopaedic.

“They have a lot of orthopaedic cases where you find that a person fell while skiing, or they simply fell, unlike here where we have stab and gunshot wounds. Their management system is totally integrated because they use the same system from clinics to hospitals to prioritise their patients.

“Due to that system, it is not hard to take a patient from one hospital to another because everything is filled in the same way,” Maimane said.

In the six months she spent there, she learnt the importance of having all divisions from nurses, doctors and radiographers in one space, she said.

“That way the full assessment is done all together in one place and you get to agree on diagnosis, unlike here where we are in different divisions. The risk with our system is that here at home, nurses are doing their own thing; the same with neurologists and orthopaedics - all focus on their own work.”

The pair further said they loved the fact that Norway had no private hospitals, and everyone was given equal attention and similar medical care.

Ribombo and Maimane went to Norway as part of the healthcare exchange programme between the university, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital and Fredskorpset Norway.

The programme was aimed at strengthening the competence in trauma care for personnel from the university and George Mukhari in the field of emergency medicine.

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