Hello, my name is Sophie Dornfeld and I am doing an internship at Hadassah Hospital in Mt. Scopus. At home, I am half way through my four-year Nursing program, so it made sense to volunteer on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Maternity Ward here in Jerusalem. For almost 100 years, Hadassah Hospital has been a leader in the Israeli medical scene and has paved the way for new medical inventions and quality healthcare.
This week, I have spent the majority of my time in the NICU assisting wherever I can, whether that be feeding the babies, giving baths, cleaning up, filling syringes with sucrose, or folding laundry. My favorite task is to be an “on-call cuddler,” where I basically walk around and soothe crying babies.
I also love interacting with the babies who are just a few hours old and witnessing happy parents embrace their new children. Every day at Hadassah is filled with new adventures and things to do/see. Today, I got to feed a baby who weighted 2.3 kg, which is just over 5 pounds. Holding a baby that tiny in my arms really made me think about how precious life is and how incredible it is to have the opportunity to welcome newborns into this world and care for them.
Working on this unit has also allowed me to improve my Hebrew, as the nurses encourage me to only use Hebrew in order to better communicate with families and coworkers. It is such a fun and happy place to work and I always leave with a huge smile on my face!
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,800 Jewish students on Grounds.