Matron Retires after 42 Years of Service
Sandra Roodt, Head of Nursing at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, has retired after 42 years of dedicated service to Western Cape Government Health. After all these years of service, she still has the same love and passion for nursing that she had when she started her career in the public service on 1 January 1974 at Tygerberg Hospital.
Roodt started her career at Tygerberg Hospital, while still being a student at the University of the Western Cape. She graduated in 1978 and was awarded the top academic student of her class.
Since then, she has treated patients, witnessed tragedies and saved lives – all while raising two children and juggling marriage.
Roodt spent 32 years of her career at Tygerberg Hospital, rotating through many areas within the hospital. However, her career highlights include working in the Trauma Unit at its busiest times, the setting up of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit at Tygerberg Hospital and achieving the internationally recognised status of Baby-Friendly Hospital.
In 2006, Roodt was appointed as Head of Nursing at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. She embraced the culture of the hospital and was often involved in planning strategies to improve patient experience. She emphasised that looking after the employees would ultimately lead to better patient care and was passionate about looking after employees’ needs.
Roodt looked back fondly at her career, which has spanned four decades, and would not change a thing.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have done during my career. I have been very fortunate to have been given lots of opportunities to gain new experiences, especially during times of change. This has given me skills which have helped me during my career," said Roodt.
Her colleagues described her as a mentor and point of reference in several areas of expertise. She encouraged others to grow and take the lead, while they equip themselves with the necessary skills and self-confidence to succeed. Her ability to stay positive, motivated and focussed under pressure encouraged her team to rise above circumstances.
Roodt has excelled in maintaining a high profile in work standard and positive attitude towards her profession and service – always emphasising the important role of a nurse. Having been a Nurse Manager, she was the first line of reference and acted as a shock absorber and buffer to absorb the impact of negative events.
She kept cool through many a day’s turmoil, prioritised and ensured smooth sailing for the nursing management and demonstrated her inner strength by serving beyond the call of duty.
To be a trusted counsellor in a postmodern society is no easy task. Roodt was trusted by her staff and team members to such an extent that they had confidence to come to her for counselling. To counsel a burned-out, highly stressed and disillusioned nurse requires inner peace and wisdom that cannot be taught. The exceptional manner in which she fulfilled this need demonstrates her care, passion and loyalty to her team members. Loyalty to the nursing profession and your employer is not obtained by endless educational qualifications, but by the active commitment to your calling.