Nurse: Leave me alone to work

Johannesburg - A nurse who works in a Johannesburg state hospital was tweeting about her experiences during a nation-wide public service strike, saying she was nervous to go to work on Friday.

The nurse, who calls herself ‘AndyWandy’, tweeted just before 08:00 on Friday, saying: "A friend reports that strikers are already causing problems at a hospital - she lives in res there and is too scared to leave her room."

Around 07:00 she said to her now nearly 800 followers on the social networking site: "Morning everyone! Friends on Night Duty were told not to work. Nearly time for me to go suss out the situation."

She started tweeting on Thursday as the public service strike escalated, with strikers severely disrupting hospital services.

One of her tweets said: "They (the strikers) are back, going through the wards, busy breaking down security gates. I think I will have to go hide in the toilet."

That tweet was followed up by: "I am safe outside! One of the scariest moments of my life. The poor, poor patients. I was safe, because I dressed like a doctor and put a stethoscope around my neck. Wow."

She later stated: "One of the worst things of today was to see how the patients realised that we work in absolute fear.

"How the hell will we manage if this goes on for three weeks?"

And lastly: "I understand if people want to strike - that's fine, but please leave me alone if I want to work."

At one stage, she tweeted about the nurses' pledge, saying: "The total health of my patients will be my first consideration. I will maintain the utmost respect for human life."

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