Healthcare specialist, Varje Kajaste from Tallinn, spending the year in Vancouver, gave an exceptional talk on the role of nursing in Estonian medicine to the Vancouver Cultural Union in January. She covered both nursing as an academic topic and her own experience in therapeutic massage. Tartu and Tallinn both have educational facilities for nurses. But the first nursing activities were recorded by nuns in Pihkva in 1724. A school for midwives was founded by prof. Deutsch in 1811 and prof. Runge was known to have taught nurses in 1883. The German language establishments changed to the Russian language at the end of the 1800s. A tuition supported school was established by prof. Muratov in 1898 and this was later affiliated with the Estonian Nurses Union. Others, namely a military male nurse school in 1942 was added, which was relocated to Russia and returned in 1945. Today the Tallinn Health Care College and the Tartu Health Care College have international recognition and impressive ambitions.
Varje Rajaste stressed the importance of massage to the health of the body. Massage’s effects are passed on through the skin, the body’s largest organ. It aids in circulation, blood supply and calms the nervous system. Through her own experience she’s convinced that massage preceded by exercise is an excellent combination.