Groote Schuur Hospital held a function last week ahead of International Nurses Day, to thank its nursing staff for their hard work.
Thursday’s function started with prayer, and the entertainment line-up included the kids from Grotties, the hospital’s créche; singers from the hospital’s band; the We Are Unknown dance group and local pop star, Salome.
International Nurses Day has been held each year since 1965 on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who was born on that day in 1820.
The Nurses’ Pledge – composed in 1893 to espouse the values of the profession – was read out and the hospital’s chief operations officer, Dr Bernadette Eick, acknowledged the important role nurses played in protecting human rights.
“Groote Schuur nurses are protecting human rights every day,” he said.
Guest speaker Dr Hilda Vember, a senior lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology, said nurses were the backbone of the health services.
“Nurses are the heart of most of our health teams, playing a crucial role in health promotion, disease prevention and treatment and as the health professionals who are the closest to the community or to the patient.
“They have a particular role in developing new models of community based care.”
Groote Schuur’s director of nursing, Aghmat Mohamed, said: “This hospital will not exist without nursing staff.
“Thegovernment,the Department of Health and health policies will not exist without nurses.”
Lucinda Solomons, a nurse with 24 years of experience, said nurses on the ground didn’t often get much recognition.
“When the patient says, ‘Bless you, nurse, thank you, nurse,’ that is what we strive for, but it is nice to get acknowledge by the hospital,” she said.
Buyiswa Gontsana, who has worked as a nurse for 32 years, said: I really take my hat off to Groote Schuur management and nursing management.”