International Nurses Day: Mediclinic Newcastle honours its nurses


Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Standing on the frontline of healthcare, nurses are the very bloodline of the medical sector. As perfectly stated by Mediclinic Newcastle’s Nursing Manager, Dr Yvonne Combrinck, nurses show up when most others don’t. “They come on duty earlier and leave work later than most people do. Some dedicate their service to patients at night, while most families are together at home enjoying a peaceful sleep.”

However, Dr Combrinck highlights that nurses are extremely privileged to experience humanity during their duties.

“They stay at the bedside guarding over patients 24/7, while other healthcare professionals come and go. They are the first to recognise and rescue patients when their condition deteriorates, comfort a patient after receiving bad news regarding their health, and support and care for the needs patients cannot fulfil during their illness and recovery.”

Furthermore, immensely dedicated to their calling, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, while there was still a great deal of uncertainty around the virus, nurses were often referred to as heroes—standing selflessly on the frontline of patient care.

Dr Combrinck points out that heroes are, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, mythological or legendary figures often of ‘divine descent endowed with great strength or ability”. Moreover, they are individuals who are celebrated for their achievements and noble qualities, show immense courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, and are central characters in an event, period, or movement.

With this in mind, Dr Combrinck highlights that nurses are also referred to as the cornerstones in healthcare, as they play a vital role in taking care of others in the healthcare system.

“Imagine a hospital without nurses for one day. Who will, with a gentle touch, admit and prepare patients for medical procedures; administer medication; monitor vital functions; perform wound care; comfort and care; fill extra shifts when staffing is short; escort the frail to the car on discharge; advocate for escalation of care when patients’ condition deteriorates; provide healthcare education; ensure and apply infection control and patient safety principles and show up 24/7?” she questions.

In celebration of these phenomenal people, every year on 12 MayInternational Nurses Day is honoured around the world. Further noting that the date marks the anniversary of the birth of the legendary Florence Nightingale, who is considered the pioneer of modern nursing. 

With Florence Nightengale playing an invaluable role in the nursing sector, the anniversary of her birth is the perfect occasion to herald nurses for their invaluable, tireless, selfless and compassionate service to humanity. 

Therefore, each year, Mediclinic Newcastle joins the world in celebration, recognising its nurses and their outstanding contribution to the community. “While we acknowledge that the last two years have been challenging for all healthcare workers around the world, we are grateful to take this opportunity to shine the light on the invaluable nursing teams within our hospitals,” states Dr Combrinck.

This year, with Mediclinic Newcastle celebrating International Nurses’ Day, the hospital recognised each nurse, being a person who chose a career of caring for others.

“It’s not a task that can be ticked off on a ‘to do’ list, nor can it be measured like blood pressure. Caring can’t be studied in a textbook nor captured on a curriculum vitae. But it can be seen and felt by those who receive this care, and it is impossible to miss. We recognise these unmistakable carers within our hospital,” Dr Combrinck highlighted.

With the above in mind, Mediclinic Newcastle staff were asked to nominate nurses who they thought went the extra mile. Generating an overwhelming response, well over 100 nominations came pouring in.

Thereafter, the judging panel got to work and selected the top 10 nurses, according to the votes. The group then gathered at the event, waiting in anticipation to see who would be recognised for their efforts.

The top 10 nominations are as follows:

  • Susan Coetser
  • Kotie van der Heever
  • Mandisa Lurai
  • Mariaan Olivier
  • Nicolene Coopasamy
  • Nombali Matsafa
  • Reasha Jamaloodeen
  • Gwen Williams
  • Ronel de Jager
  • Sagaya Jesudhes

Jubilant about winning, Mariaan Olivier, the Unit Manager for E Ward received the Award Of Recognition for this year’s International Nurse’s Day. “It is a great honour, as recognition always makes you do more, and with nursing being a calling, recognition for carrying out your duties truly makes you care more.”

Reflecting on her career, Sr Olivier highlighted that she began her journey with Mediclinic Newcastle in January 2003. “This coming January, I will have been with Mediclinic for 20 years and it is great hospital to work for. I started as a theatre nurse, working my way up to Unit Manager.”

Inspired by two of her aunts to take up nursing, Sr Olivier says that nursing has taught her incredibly important life lessons, all of which have made her value her family, colleagues, patients and career more and more each day.

Moreover, Acting Hospital General Manager Elna Bierman congratulated Sr Olivier for her achievement and extended her heartfelt thanks to all the nursing staff on behalf of Mediclinic Newcastle, not only for their dedication to the hospital but for the compassion and kindness they showed to each patient that they came into contact with.

“One thing the pandemic has taught us, is how indispensable nurses are,” she concludes.

Following Sr Olivier receiving her certificate of recognition, a number of the nursing staff enjoyed a morning of socialising, with Mediclinic Newcastle emphasising how special they truly are in the medical sector.

With the above-mentioned in mind, be sure to wish all nurses a happy International Nurses Day by sharing your wishes and comments in the section below.

This post and content is sponsored and provided by Mediclinic Southern Africa – Newcastle.


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