The Nazareth Trust

Healing in the name of Jesus since 1861
+44 (0)131 225 9957

Meet Pierre Durr

A Nazareth Academic School of Nursing Graduate

Pierre Durr

At the time of the interview, Pierre worked as a nurse aide at the Nazareth Hospital‘s ER. In December 2023, he joined the Intensive Care Unit as a nurse.

“No matter how many people tell me nursing is hard, it brings me so much joy to help people in need.”

From left to right, Mr Yousef Shinnawi (deputy of the SON director), Dr Salam Hadid (SON director) and Pierre Durr at the graduation ceremony.

Originally from Shefa-Amr, a city around 14 miles from Nazareth, Pierre Durr is a Nazareth Academic School of Nursing graduate working as a nurse aide at the Nazareth Hospital’s Emergency Rooms.

Pierre didn’t always want to be a nurse. Initially, he was leaning towards programming or computer science. But an incident on his way to college changed his mind forever. While waiting for the bus, Pierre saw an old lady struggling to buy a ticket from the machine. He was driven to help her buy a ticket and get her safely to her destination. He was late for college, but that didn’t matter anymore: “At this moment, I realised this is the reason I want to be a nurse: to help people,” Pierre explained.

Then, it was time to choose a school for his nursing studies: “Being an only child and having overprotective parents is very hard. They are always worried, so I was looking for a place close to home. I asked some family members since most of them work in the medical field, and they told me the English Hospital was where I should go. Ever since I started my studies, I felt at home. The staff know what I’m going through, and they help me manage the stress.

Stress management is paramount in the nursing profession. Pierre received stress management training at the School of Nursing and support from his colleagues in the ER. He remembers struggling in the simulation room during his studies, where students practice procedural skills using manikins. Even though he answered the questions correctly, he was overcome by stress. Pierre recalls their teachers telling him the importance of managing stress: “Once you get stressed, everything will be a disaster.” They would ask him to breathe in and calm down because once you’re calm, you’re able to think properly and make the right decisions to help the patient.

Pierre at the Nazareth Hospital’s Shock Room in the ER.

One of Pierre’s fondest memories as a nursing student happened in the surgical department for elderly patients in a hospital in Haifa. “The first time, I was very worried because I know elderly people can be a little bit challenging, and the geriatric subject is one of the hardest.” However, Pierre was accepted quickly by the patients in the department: “When I arrived in the morning, they would all greet me and check on me, and I felt joy. This memory, I will never forget; how I felt very close to these people.”

When asked about the most challenging aspect of his job, Pierre said that patients and their relatives sometimes get angry or confront him: “The families here are very close to each other, and when they come to the ER, they want everything to be fast and right away. It’s challenging because they sometimes yell at you, but you must remain calm. You need to tell them you understand that they’re going through a rough time, that it’s okay to yell, let things out, and try to comfort them.”

“But the hardest is when the patient dies in the ER, and you have to break the news to the family. It’s sad and hard to deal with. As an introvert, I keep all my emotions inside. Working in the ER, you have to be emotionally intelligent to understand the people around you and their behaviour to cope with it better. Otherwise, it’s very challenging.”

Despite the difficulties, Pierre loves working in the ER. His passion for nursing keeps him going every single day: “If you want to work in the ER, there are things you need to master, and one of them is patience. You also need to be emotionally prepared for everything you’re going to see in the ER. But most importantly, you have to make sure you love your job.

Pierre with other classmates at their graduation from SON.