Community service nurses take the lead in providing quality care for COVID-19 pa | Western Cape Government


Community service nurses take the lead in providing quality care for COVID-19 pa

22 July 2020

Once they have completed their qualification, professional nurses are placed in a public health facility for a year to complete their community service year. The year is used to introduce the newly qualified nurses to different situations in order for them to gain practical experience. This year the community service nurses at Worcester Hospital have shown their worth by taking the lead in COVID-19 patient care. Sisters Ruiters, Johannes and Africa particularly stood out for their outstanding work at Worcester Hospital.

With the extra beds required to accommodate COVID-19 patients, comes the need for extra staff. These three community service nurses managed to assist in filling an immense need for quality care when they were placed in the ICU and ICU Day Theatre where seriously ill COVID-19 patients are treated.

“When I was first told I would be working in the ICU with COVID-19 patients, I was frightened and scared, as any other person would be. What I feared the most and still do is the that I could take the virus home with me and go and infect my family, but you soon get used to how to protect yourself. Whenever I enter a COVID-19 patient’s room, whether it is a PUI (Patient Under Investigation) or a confirmed case, I treat the patient exactly how I would treat any other patient. It is just amazing how you automatically have patience and empathy when caring for your patients,” explains Sister Ruiters.

Sister Africa explains that it is an honour for her to be trusted with such an important tusk in these unique circumstances. “I realised when I started working in the COVID-19 Department that I am meant to be there. I am entrusted to the patients who needs the most emotional support, to wipe their tears and tell them it’s going to be okay and to hold the hand of the fragile. I am privileged to help those in need.”

When asked how they have experienced their community service year thus far, Sister Johannes responded “It is a blessing to be part of the Worcester Hospital team. The general working conditions and learning experiences are excellent and I have met some wonderful people. I have learned a lot in my short time working here.”

These community service nurses are amongst many other staff members who are dedicated to their patients and providing them with quality care. We thank all our frontline staff for their dedicated service and we are exceptionally grateful to those who go out of their way to make a difference.