Nurse loves to be of service

2017-09-12 06:01
Gladys Martin-Adonis has been a nurse for more than 30 years and received her first award this year.PHOTO: Samantha lee

Gladys Martin-Adonis has been a nurse for more than 30 years and received her first award this year.PHOTO: Samantha lee

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Working as a nurse is not without its challenges, but it is what she was born to do.

Having started a course in general nursing in 1981, Gladys Martin-Adonis from Strandfontein is now a nursing sister working in the mental health department of the Mitchell’s Plan Community Health Centre. She has been honoured at the recent Premier’s Awards for service excellence.

After 36 years, she still has a love and passion for her line of work.

She has worked in drug and alcoholism rehabilitation, maternity and now mental health.

She was one of five finalists honoured at the Premier’s Awards this year, aimed at honouring staff members who excel in local government departments.

Martin-Adonis says she always dreamt of being a nurse and helping others.

“Since I can remember I wanted to be a nurse,” she says.

“I strongly believe a nurse is born. I don’t believe you just do nursing – you do it because you want to help and be of service to people.”

She says compassion and passion for the craft go a long way in nursing.

“You will go that extra mile for anyone, not only patients. You must have compassion and a lot of empathy and you must not get overinvolved by knowing your boundaries. But, most important, it is compassion and wanting to help someone in need or pain,” says Martin-Adonis.

This is her first award. She was nominated by facility manager Amanda ­Hansen.

The award takes into consideration the workload, annual performance and the employee’s willingness to go above and beyond his call of duty.

“The extraordinary thing for me was making it to the second level because I don’t do this to be put in the [spotlight]. I wasn’t even thinking it was a big thing,” she says.

Although she enjoys her job despite it, she says the stigma attached to mental illness is still a big challenge.

“We are always in the corner and I would like mental illness to be on the frontline, like HIV and TB,” she says.

She says Mitchell’s Plain needs its own in-patient drug rehabilitation centre that belongs to government.

“Drugs are a challenge in Mitchell’s Plain. The bulk of our patients, even those under the age of 18, is as a result of drug-induced psychosis,” she says.

Her advice to youngsters wanting to get involved with nursing, is to really love being of service to others.

“You must want to work with people. You must not even look at the salary. You must want to do it for the good of the world because of the hours that you work and the effort you put in,” she says.

“It is a difficult job. But I would encourage students to work in areas where they have a profile of everything in nursing, because today’s students want to come into the workplace and specialise in ­something.

“When you do the course you have a touch of what nursing is about. You have to work to see where you fit in.”

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