Russians tour Reading Hospital
Reading Eagle (Reading, PA)
Posted on October 18, 2002
By Merav Bushlin
|Observing premature infant care in Reading Hospital are, from left: Natalya Kryukora, a Russian nurse; Fran K. Moore, nurse manager at the hospital; and Russians Nina Shramko and Valentina Vladmirskaya.|
The eight nurses are spending a week in Reading as guests of Alvernia College.
All leaders in their field, the Russian nurses were chosen to come to the United States to absorb ideas for improving the profession in their country, Alvernia spokesman Tim Kershner said.
The nurses spoke through a translator.
"It's totally different," said senior nurse Lidia Yelistratova, comparing Reading Hospital to hospitals in Chelyabinsk, in the Ural Mountains of Southwest Russia.
Being a nurse in that part of Russia is hard because there are no aides or laboratory technicians, said Yelistratova, who specializes in children's infectious diseases.
As a translator explained services, Yelistratova scribbled the details into a small notebook.
The Russian nurses said they work with little assistance and less-advanced equipment than do their American counterparts.
"It's just enthusiasm that keeps us going," said Nina Shramko, a senior nurse at a Chelyabinsk hospital. "We have a shortage of this kind of equipment. We perform a lot of manual procedures instead of using electronic devices."
That may not sound auspicious, but Shramko said, "We are very optimistic that things will change."
Shramko was especially impressed by an automated dispenser that measures out each patient's medication.
Hospitals in major Russian cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg probably compare more favorably to American hospitals, she said.
The American International Health Alliance organized the exchange.
Emily Adams Korff, a program associate for the alliance, said Reading was chosen as a host city partly because of its size.
"They're not from Moscow or a big city," Korff said of the nurses. "It makes sense to pair them up with a city more on the scale of where they come from."
The nurses are staying with families of Alvernia staff members and friends.
Other tours are planned at St. Joseph Medical Center, Wilson High School and the Reading Birth and Women's Center in Kenhorst. The nurses also will visit Harrisburg.
The nursing exchange program is funded by the Center for Russian Leadership Development of the Library of Congress.
Contact reporter Merav Bushlin at 610-371-5014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2002, The Reading Eagle. Used with permission.
[Reprinted with Permission]