Olav Posch, Karabo Maimela, Colisiwe Ribombo and Dr Bjørn Christensen, who are participants in an exchange programme between Norway and South Africa launched by Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital.Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)
LOCAL nurses cannot wait to leave the country in order to gain more knowledge, experience and skills which will assist the traumatology and emergency care sector.

Among them are 25-year-old Karabo Maimela, from Ga-Rankuwa, and Colisiwe Ribombo, 34, from Theresa Park, who said they were ready to leave for Norway.

Speaking to the Pretoria News last week, Maimela said: “This means more knowledge, experience and the transfer of skills, which is the reason we are going. For us it is to acquire all that and pass it back on our return.” Maimela works at the accident emergency department at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital. She said trauma cases in South Africa were plentiful but countries such as Norway saw only four trauma patients within a year.

“This means there is so much we can learn from them in order to reduce the numbers we already have. It also gives us a chance to use equipment that is more efficient and advanced. It will be great to learn from them,” she said.

She spoke at the launch of the healthcare exchange programme between the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University and Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital and Fredskorpset Norway yesterday.

The launch took place at the university, and those present heard the exchange and opportunity to study abroad was aimed at strengthening the competence in trauma care for personnel from Sefako Makgatho and George Mukhari in the field of emergency medicine.

An excited Ribombo said she was honoured to be given such an opportunity and was willing to learn more in the hope of returning with the acquired experience to benefit her unit.

Ribombo works at the hospital’s trauma unit and deals with critical care for trauma patients. “I want to see how they handle their trauma patients and am looking forward to learning new things that I will be able to implement when coming back to our trauma unit,” she said.

She said during her six-month stay in Norway, she would leave behind her 11-year-old twins, but knew that her mother would take good care of them. She said: “This is the best opportunity to ever come our way and our families understand that we could not let the opportunity pass us by.”

They leave on Friday.

The hospital had Norwegians, specialist surgeon Dr Bjørn Christensen and nurse Olav Posc, from Haukeland University Hospital, working at its trauma and emergency medicine unit.

The pair have been at the hospital since last August and said the experience had been interesting, challenging and unique. “Things are very different and unique in this country; the level of trauma exposure in one week here will be equal to one to two years in a Norwegian hospital,” Christensen said.

They said the most challenging thing was treating injuries to children - something they hardly dealt with in their home country.