From the age of 5, when I got my first nurses outfit, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. I don’t ever remember changing my mind.
I have been told that when I was around 10 and one of my grandmothers had surgery, I was the one that cared for her and managed her dressings.
I also gave her her last bath on the day she died from cancer at the age of 81. It was a month after my wedding.
I don’t know why I wanted to be a nurse, it is definitely not from altruism. As the saying goes, ‘some people are only alive today, because it is illegal for me to kill them’.
When I was at high school we had guidance counselors, these were the people who were supposed to help and encourage us on our chosen paths. My particular counselor told me that I was too lazy to be able to finish Nursing college. Out of the 4 of us that went, I was the only one to complete my full 3 years.
My first job was my worst, it was for a care facility in Berea. The owner was one of the most racist people I had ever met. Considering it was still during apartheid, that is saying a lot!
Then I worked for an endocrinology practice for a short while as a receptionist, I then moved to a great pharmacy in Bez Valley for around 3 years as the clinic nurse, this was a hugely innovative idea as pharmacy clinics were unknown.
Shortly after my marriage I went to work for an extremely busy GP practice, with 2 of the most dedicated doctors. I worked there for 5 years full time. During this time sadly one of the partners died in an horrific car accident.
During this time I was going through fertility treatment.
I learned so much working for these doctors! I eventually ran a staff clinic at a large company for the surviving partner. In total I worked for this practice for 11 years.
I did a little part time work when I fell pregnant with child number 3 and 4.
I then moved on to nursing education. I taught Care workers in Kempton Park for 2 years and then first year clinical skills for another 3 years. It was hard work, we had 60-70 student per year and I was expected to facilitate them all. Theory was taught by someone with a Nursing Education degree.
I was thinking about going back to varsity and getting my degree in order to find a teaching post with less students, when my father fell seriously ill while on holiday.
I flew down immediately to support my mother and convince my father to go to hospital, where he was admitted for 5 days.
When I returned to work and put in for family responsibility the hospital administration (not my direct supervisor), decided that family responsibility is for the death of a parent, not the hospitalization, when another person was available to care for them.
During the previous week I had become disillusioned by nursing after hearing a student say she was only doing nursing so that she could have a job while she builds her business!
There was also an incident of a patient who had died due to lack of due diligence on the part of the entire medical team. From the nursing staff up! I used it as a case study lecture to highlight the correct nursing care, record keeping and protocols of a patient whose life could have been saved.
I will be writing a lot of posts about nursing and it’s decline.
I handed in my notice immediately. I had no job and was unlikely to find one soon. The first month I would be out of work and would need to take of 8 days of work, due to religious holidays. I also did not think I would get a nursing post that would allow me Friday afternoons and Saturday’s off every week, as I do not work on the Sabbath. (I do not work on Jewish holy days or Sabbath).
I then phoned my husband to tell him.
That first day I was home, I went to the hospital that was near my house and asked to speak to the Emergency department manager. We filled in forms and then I had a job, 4 days a week, no Fridays or Saturdays. I was there for 2 years.
I then heard about a practice job, I spoke to my unit manager and told her I would like to interview for the job. I contacted the doctor and went for my interview. I am still working there today.