Interning on ambulances… and Tel Aviv beaches in my spare time

** By Jake Feeny, Pre-med senior at the University of Illinois;  Internship in Tel Aviv in the medical field with Magen David Adom, Israeli National Ambulance Service. 

My summer in Israel could not have been more amazing- I experienced many incredible moments and met some amazing people. After I came to Israel on Birthright last summer, I knew that I had to come back, so I signed up for the Career Israel Summer Internship Program in Tel Aviv.  I interned with Magen David Adom (MDA) National Ambulance Service at the Ramat Gan station. Doing this internship through Career Israel allowed me to have a three-month MDA experience (instead of the 6 week programs that MDA offers), and enabled me to meet people from around the world.

I want to start out by saying how much I truly love the MDA organization. Being a part of this program has been one of the best experiences of my life. I began the summer training as a Chul (overseas) 60 hour First Responder course. This is the basic volunteer training that the organization offers. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot from it. I rode on ambulances and saw a variety of cases such as transporting an elderly person with a pulmonary edema and helping at the scene of major car accidents.  The Israeli workers from the Ramat Gan station could not have been more helpful, friendly, or hospitable. The paramedics, medics, and youth volunteers were a huge part of my trip and I enjoyed every minute working at the station. The station became a second home for me.

After the first month, I opted to take part in the Shlav Bet (88 hour training course), which gave me the skills to be more involved on the ambulance and to help with the more intense and “fun” cases. During this course I learned how to administer an IV, deliver babies, use an EKG monitor, among other skills. Upon completion I was involved in multiple CPR cases, severe trauma incidents, and even helped deliver a baby on the ambulance! The experience exposed me in-depth to the medical field, and gave me hands on experience in trauma.  This internship opportunity will for sure help me in my medical career.

On Career Israel I met a lot of great people throughout the summer, and most of us lived together in Bet Leni, the program’s apartment complex.  I met amazing people from Israel and from around the world that I continue to keep in touch with, and plan on visiting in the future. I must say living in the center of Tel Aviv was unbelievable. I was in the midst of Israeli culture, met extremely interesting people, and had an incredible time exploring the BEST city in the world. The Tel Aviv beaches were my third home in Israel(after Bet Leni and the Ramat Gan station)- some of my favorite memories from this summer are from hanging out on the beach with my friends, and fortunately we lived only a five-minute walk away.

After my summer in Tel Aviv, I know that I will come back to Israel to volunteer with Magen David Adom. Israel really became a home for me, and I have my experiences from my summer internship in Tel Aviv on Career Israel to thank for that.

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