Twin nurses still cause confusion decades on

2017-09-12 13:45
Twin sisters and nurses Gillian (left) and Jennifer Baugh (51). Gillian has been working at Hayfields Medicross for the past 15 years and Jennifer has been working for a general practitioner, Dr Appelt, at MediClinic for the past 11 years.

Twin sisters and nurses Gillian (left) and Jennifer Baugh (51). Gillian has been working at Hayfields Medicross for the past 15 years and Jennifer has been working for a general practitioner, Dr Appelt, at MediClinic for the past 11 years. (Nompilo Kunene)

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Meet Gillian and Jennifer Baugh, the Pietermaritzburg nurses who have people thinking they are seeing double.

The identical twins have to spend a lot of time explaining that they are not one nurse who works two jobs simultaneously.

“After Grade 12, Jennifer went to work at a bank and I went to study nursing,” said Gillian.

 “Our mom used to tell us all the nursing stories and it sounded like great fun,” she said.

Jennnifer added: “I loved accountancy and banking so after matric I worked at the bank for a year. It seemed as if Gillian was having a great time at nursing college so I decided to leave banking and join her. It was a quick decision and I don’t regret it.” 

Gillian has been working at Hayfields Medicross for the past 15 years and Jennifer for general practitioner Dr Peter Appelt at MediClinic for 11 years.

“That’s where we confuse the patients totally. I often get asked ‘do you work here as well?’,” said Gillian.

Jennifer laughed: “At Dr Appelt’s practice we work Monday to Friday and because we are closed during the weekend some of our patients go to Medicross. When they see Gillian there they ask her if she works here too and she has to explain that she has a twin sister, but some people just don’t believe us.” 

“We get this just about daily,” said Gillian, who added that it has been happening all their lives.

Even when they are not at work people confuse them and some are offended when they do not wave back. 

“I’ll get someone asking me why I walked past them without greeting them and I have to explain that it wasn’t me but my sister,” she explained. 

“Some people don’t believe us when I tell them I have a twin sister, we have had to go to some people together to actually prove that there was actually two of us ... some nearly passed out when they saw us together”.

In spite of all this they enjoy one another’s company. “We’ve done a lot of things together like the Comrades Marathon and the Midmar Mile. We love travelling together and even though we don’t necessarily love the same things, we always encourage and motivate each other to do what one of us loves,” said Jennifer­. 

Gillian said neither was married because they have “always had each other”. “We’ve always been self-sufficient and content with one another. There was never a burning desire to be with someone because we both always wanted to be independent and build ourselves up first and I guess we just kept going,” she said.

“We don’t really sense each other's feelings like most twins do, but what I’ve noticed is that I will think of something, but before I say it, Gillian will say it first,” said Jennifer. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pmb people

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