Netcare nurses show that compassion doesn’t end when their shift does

In celebration of International Nurses Day

Netcare nurses show that compassion doesn’t end when their shift does

Two nurses from Netcare St Anne’s Hospital recently showed that caring for members of the community is second nature to those in the nursing profession.

Morag van Deventer, a trauma sister in the emergency department and Louise Nanni, a cardiac scrub sister in the theatre department, were among the staff members nominated for Netcare Coastal region’s Carer of the Year Award for making a meaningful impact on people’s lives both within and outside of the hospitals they work.

Morag is very involved in the Pietermaritzburg community. One of the charity projects that she started is the Kuvela Othandweni initiative, which means “from the heart”, and which is supported by a group of women who knit clothing for premature and newborn babies at Edendale public hospital. This helps mothers who are unable to afford clothing for their new babies.

It is so special to meet these mothers and to see their eyes light up when they receive the clothing. It eases some of their worries and is a promising beginning for their little ones. I love to see the mothers’ pride when they leave hospital with their babies warmly dressed,” says Van Deventer.

When she identified another need in the community, Morag jumped right in to try and fill the gap. What started out as getting some friends to donate wool and their time to knitting beanies and blankets, evolved to Morag collecting over 100 boxes of knitted clothing and blankets, shoes and sports kits and distributing them personally to over 14 crèches, three hospitals, and many special-needs schools. Hundreds of children of all ages have benefited from this.

Louise Nanni, a cardiac scrub sister in the theatre department

Louise Nanni, a cardiac scrub sister in the theatre department

Morag’s colleague, Louise Nanni, has also been acknowledged for her compassion beyond her job responsibilities. Last year a fellow staff member in Louise’s department, Hlengiwe Khanyile, sadly passed away just days after giving birth to a baby girl. The team she worked with were heartbroken.

Recognising their grief, Louise set about bringing her colleagues together to see what they could do for Hlengiwe’s husband and baby. She brought in lace fabric to make a gift box cover, which the theatre team sewed together during their tea breaks. When this box was filled with necessities for the baby, Louise and her team made a second box cover and also filled it with gifts.

The theatre team then invited Hlengiwe’s husband and daughter for tea to present them with the gifts and to show their support. Louise not only made a difference in the lives of this father and baby but also looked out for the theatre team in a way that helped them come to terms with their colleague’s death and to heal. The time they shared while making the boxes and collecting the gifts gave them a sense of purpose and they were able to comfort one another and show Hlengiwe’s family care and compassion.

Regional director for Netcare Coastal region, Ian Goble, notes, “At Netcare our core value of care is not only evident in the dedication shown by our nurses in looking after our patients with professionalism, competence and compassion but also in their actions outside their working environment and their attitude towards their colleagues.