If you peeked into a class in the University of Hartford’s respiratory therapy lab recently, don’t worry, you were not seeing double, you were seeing identical twin sisters, Afra and Tahani Mansour Aljuraidan. The sisters celebrated a milestone together in December -- graduating with their Bachelor of Science degrees in respiratory care.
As international students from Saudi Arabia, they chose UHart because of the breadth of degrees offered in healthcare-related fields and surprisingly because of the chilly climate. “I love snow, to be honest,” Tahani admitted.
Having a sister here while going to college so far from home made their transition and time at UHart a lot easier. The sisters shared many classes together and worked at two clinics together.
Initially they were not in the same classes. Tahani started as a biomedical engineering major, but soon found out it was not for her and switched to respiratory care with her sister. Since then, they’ve found that they enjoy different sides of respiratory care -- Afra prefers the rehab side while Tahani is more interested in working in an intensive care unit (ICU).
“My last clinical was in the rehab center and I really liked it more than the ICU. For me it was more quiet, and I didn't have patients in critical situations, so I think this is much better for me,” explained Afra.
Tahani said, “For me I am the opposite, I didn't really like the rehab clinical because the work was too slow with not as much to do, I like the ICU more. There are more critical situations and you see different cases. At least for the beginning of my career, I would like to do critical care.”
The twins do not have jobs lined up yet at home and they are hopeful that they will be able to work together. Afra said, “We are going back home and we want to work together” and Tahani finished her sentence “because we make a good team.”
Tahani explained by saying “Our plan of being together, even at work, doesn't mean that we are dependent on each other -- she is independent and I am independent, but we love how we work when are together. I feel we are complimentary of each other.”
“It was a good experience for us to be in America and to study here,” said Afra. Tahani added “it is always good to have a partner.”