Real-life heroes of patient care

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Eva Mhlongo and Senior Professional Nurse Sindiswa Shweni Vundisa, Nurses Winner 2023 at MediClinic. PHOTO: Supplied

Nurses are known as heroes without capes as they take on the role of being the voice of those who cannot talk, legs for those who cannot walk, and eyes and ears for those who cannot see or hear. Bloemfontein Courant spoke to healthcare workers on the value of nursing in light of the recent celebration of ‘Nurses Day’.

The Nursing Manager at Mediclinic Bloemfontein, Eva Mhlongo, said nurses are responsible for taking care of the patients by recognising their symptoms and ensuring that medication is administered while providing other measures to alleviate pain and suffering. Mhlongo stressed the importance of celebrating the work nurses do daily because the workload in the fast-paced environment and the burden of diseases nurses are faced with have caused a lot of burnout among nurses. “We have to celebrate our successes and a mere ‘thank you’ from a patient or family member makes a difference in the life of a nurse,” said Mhlongo.

At Mediclinic they select a nurse who is most compassionate and goes beyond her duties to deliver good, quality nursing care to receive the Nursing Excellence Award in recognition of the exceptional care he or she is providing. “Every nurse in the hospital receives a gift as a token of appreciation for the work they are doing. It is a day of fun in the workplace,” said Mhlongo. According to Sr Janeen Malan, Unit Manager, ICU Cardiology, she said that reflecting on her 30-plus year career as a nurse, her desire to serve and care for others started at a young age, and it is still a passion. “Caring for others brings peace to my soul and gives me a purpose. It is who I am at my core, it’s my calling,” said Malan.

Unit Manager at the Medical Ward, Sr Suzan Dasheka, said she lived with her grandmother as a child and took care of her when she got sick. During that time she was exposed to a lady who studied nursing and she was impressed. “I feel so privileged and honoured to be able to take care of God’s image by bringing back the dignity and respect in others and also to help those who can’t help themselves,” said Dasheka. Sr Melinda Muller, Manager of Sunflower House, says: “I work at Sunflower because I love children and want to make a difference in their lives. It is so rewarding to admit a very sick child and be able to see the difference when a child receives love, the correct treatment, and healthy food. I really enjoy my work at Sunflower every single day.”

Sr Joan Marston, specialist in Paediatric Palliative Care, educator, and advocate says: “Children are so vulnerable especially when seriously ill, but they have the same needs as other healthy children – for love, care, nice food, play, and development. They teach us each day that it is important to play, to laugh, and to sing – no matter how hard life may be. These children are a blessing and a joy. Celebrating Nurses’ Day means celebrating life and health, nurses are the bedrock of health care,” said Marston.

Bonolo Moloi
bonolo@centralmediagroup.co.za