AYF Internship: Scrubbing in at Arabkir Joint Medical Center
By U. Narine Taraksian
Coming into the AYF Internship, I was worried that I wouldn’t get much nursing experience. I knew that the internship would be the best social and cultural experience, but I had my hesitations regarding the internship itself. However, after working in a hospital here for six weeks now, I realize that I was completely wrong to have those hesitations in the first place. I have loved every aspect of this internship, including the professional experience I have gained along the way.
I have been interning at Arabkir Joint Medical Center with two other interns (Alex and Sevan M.). We work in the Pediatric Orthopedic Department—something I never thought would interest me as much as it has. On Mondays and Wednesdays, we spend our time in the clinic shadowing the doctors and interacting with patients. The patients come from all over Armenia and sometimes even Russia and Georgia to see the orthopedic doctors because they’re that great at what they do. The medical staff at Arabkir have made this experience all the better. They speak English, which made me feel a lot more comfortable. Although I speak Armenian, understanding medical terms in Eastern Armenian dialect was one of my biggest concerns, and luckily the staff speaks English and takes time to explain every patient case with us interns.
When we’re not in the clinic shadowing patient visits, we spend our time in the operating room (OR). Although I’ve had experience being in the OR through nursing school, I have never had as much hands-on experience as I have here in Armenia. I got to scrub into a surgery and stand directly beside the OR table, assisting with the procedure.
It is experiences like casually scrubbing into a surgery that will be engraved in my mind when I think about this summer. I’m so happy I chose to take part in the AYF Internship this year as opposed to a local one in Rhode Island. To anyone studying nursing, pre-med, or anything in the medical field: Take part in this internship, and don’t worry about not gaining enough experience. I’m so grateful to have been able to work in our motherland, compare how different the healthcare systems are, and gain professional experience. Working here has been very eye-opening and rewarding. The AYF Internship has given me experiences that I’ll never forget and memories that I’ll hold onto during my entire nursing career.