Nurses Honoured at the Annual Cecilia Makiwane Recognition Award
Through perseverance, dedication and innovation, Vyjayanthimala van Heerden was last night, (Friday 21 October 2016), honoured for her selfless dedication to the nursing profession by being awarded the Western Cape Cecilia Makiwane Nurse’s Recognition Award.
The Awards, which was named after Cecilia Makiwane who was the first registered professional black nurse in South Africa, provides the Western Cape Government Health Department an opportunity to recognise the tireless work done by its 12 898 nurses and reward those nurses who walk the extra mile with their patients and embodies the calling of what it means to be a nurse.
Van Heerden, a Clinical Nurse Educator at New Somerset Hospital, was amongst 10 nurses who were nominated for the special award by their peers for exceptional work done in their field through making a lasting difference to their patients’ lives and contributing to the improvement of their communities’ wellbeing.
Her duties are focused on evaluating, recommending, creating and incorporating both non-clinical and clinical programmes that will improve medical practices for patients' well-being. In reaching out to colleagues and the public she transformed herself into a human information billboard.
She launched SIP - ‘Sharing/Saving is Possible’, an innovative project which focuses on providing the public and staff with key informative messages relating to various topics such as the usage of blood products, medication administration and legalities of prescriptions, handwashing and record keeping. Since the implementation of the ‘SIP’ ‘Sharing/Saving is Possible’ campaign, staff satisfaction in the workplace and staff’s willingness to comply with initiatives aimed at improving patient care at New Somerset Hospital has improved.
This year’s nominees were:
1. Arina Jenkins, Professional Nurse at Tygerberg Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
2. Bonita Koul, Enrolled Nurse at Grabouw Community Day Centre (CDC)
3. Gregory Paulse, Professional Nurse at Mfuleni CDC
4. Irene Carelse, Professional Nurse at Karl Bremer Hospital’s Termination of Pregnancy Clinic
5. Jeanette Oliphant, Enrolled Nursing Assistant at the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre
6. Madenia Hoosain, Assistant Nursing Manager at Heideveld Emergency Centre
7. Petro Visagie, Paediatric Staff Nurse at Vredenburg Hospital
8. Vyjayanthimala van Heerden, Clinical Nurse Educator at New Somerset Hospital
9. Xoliswa Motolwana, Operational Manager at Knysna Hospital
10. Zainunisa Brown, Professional Nurse at Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital’s Oncology and Haematology Clinic
First Runner Up - Bonita Koul
Bonita Koul works in the TB room and has learnt that one cannot just give people pills and expect them to get better. She responds to all their needs to ensure they finish their TB treatment regime by providing food, clothes and personal engagement to encourage and motivate them. She also conducts home visits to her patients as an additional encouragement to get healthy again.
Second Runner Up - Petro Visagie
Petro Visagie is a shining example of giving, caring and having compassion. Her passion and love for her work is evident in the manner in which she conducts her work and wholeheartedly cares for her patients. Visagie often provides impoverished patients and their families with transport, food parcels and clothing, without asking anything in return. Her selflessness extends to her colleagues as well, she is always eager to orientate new staff, share her knowledge and experience in order to guide them.
The Department is fortunate to be able to boast about such a calibre of which is why it is important to recognise their selfless work and commitment, not only to the Department, but also to each patient, their families, their friends and communities as a whole.