By Nancy Rapoport
Ruth Radiano, Head Nurse at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, is an extraordinary woman, whose resume reads like a novel. I recently had the distinct pleasure of meeting her and hearing her speak, and in just five minutes with her, I felt as though I was with a Hadassah sister.
Ruth describes herself as "authentic Hadassah." She was born at Hadassah (as were her two sons), and she attended the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing.
In May at the Nurses Council's event in Washington, DC, "Nurses as Advocates: A Symposium," she spoke about her family and how she found a professional home at the the Hadassah Medical Organization, which shared her values and commitment to taking care of not just a patient, but of an entire family and community. At HMO, she said, people came from all walks of life, religions, and ethnicities, something that resonated deeply, since her parents taught her that all people need to be treated with respect.
Early on, Ruth started at the first Pediatrics Aids Clinic at HMO with a highly respected HMO doctor, caring for children, many of them from Ethiopia and frightened because they didn’t speak Hebrew or English. For their treatment to be effective, she had to learn how to communicate with them. The children had to take a huge number of pills — many of them gigantic, so Ruth started the "pill school" system, which helped the children conquer their fear of medication. She also helped start the medical clown program at Hadassah Hospitals, in conjunction with an HMO doctor. At the beginning, there was concern that the children would be frightened by the clowns as many had never seen one before. The support staff thought she was crazy. But Ruth knew all would be well, and sure enough medical clowns are now used today around the world to help with pediatric patients.
Ruth has an overwhelming desire for her staff to feel like a big family, filled with friendship and support for one another. She once organized a large picnic to celebrate the end of Ramadan, and it is now an annual tradition. She leads by example when it comes to respecting traditions and observances of her staff. During times of elevated violence and fear in Israel, her staff rely on each other for support, because they aren’t just employees at HMO, but one big family.
Ruth, like so many Hadassah nurses, embodies everything nursing is meant to be. She is devoted to science without losing sight of patients and families, while constantly advancing their own knowledge and that of other staff. Like Ruth, our nurses are truly bridges to peace in the Middle East.
To learn more about Ruth and other Hadassah nurses, consider becoming an active member of this amazing organization and our incredible Nurses Councils.