Making Florence Nightingale proud

2016-05-17 06:00
Karin Moore, deputy manager of nursing at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, celebrating 38 years as a nurse and still loves the challenges. PHOTO: gary van dyk

Karin Moore, deputy manager of nursing at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, celebrating 38 years as a nurse and still loves the challenges. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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The world celebrated International Nurses Day on Thursday last week, the birth date of Florence Nightingale, and her heritage still plays an integral part of modern medical practice.

Considered the founder of modern nursing, Nightingale is celebrated because she was instrumental in modifying nursing into a respectable profession.

She raised the standards of nursing by incorporating education, leadership and responsibility within the profession.

While modern nursing has changed tremendously, the Western Cape health department acknowledges that nurses form the largest category of clinical staff in the health service.

They are an integral part of the health team, forming the backbone of providing good quality care.

The department has 12 709 nurses working in government health facilities.

One of those nurses making a difference is Karin Moore, deputy manager of nursing at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, who has been serving the community for the past 38 years.

Coming from a family of teachers she thinks it was a rebellious streak in her that saw her not being part of the family “business”.

“I am the youngest of six children,” she says.

“All of them, starting with my dad who was a school principal, went into teaching. I knew that I wanted to serve my community but also wanted to do something different.”

Her journey into nursing started at Tygerberg Hospital when colleges were still affiliated to hospitals and eventually qualified as a general nurse before getting into midwifery.

“I worked at the Peninsula Maternity Hospital for many years before we amalgamated with Mowbray, but it does not matter where I am because my career has always given me great joy, and I enjoy it.

“Then I specialised in neonatal care, which was another challenge, but working in this field also gave me great satisfaction.”

While she thought that she would be retiring in this field, the management of Mowbray saw some potential in her to inspire and motivate a new generation of nurses.

“In 2008 I was persuaded to take up this position but I saw the need to be part of caring for our staff and motivate and inspire them to be the best at their tasks.

“I feel it is important that they also feel valued and are able to render the services needed. It has been another exciting challenge but when you experience the marked improvement in their service delivery then it is all worth it.”

But is nursing, as a career, is it still attracting young people?

“Not as much as it used to,” says Moore.

“There is a shortage because there are more career options for our youth. I would like to see more young people looking at the profession because there are so many facets to nursing that they are not aware of.

“This is a career that can take you to all corners of the world.”

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