Community’s darling nurse

2019-06-11 06:00
Mark Kleinschmidt with sister Florence Vaughan.

Mark Kleinschmidt with sister Florence Vaughan.

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It is a loss for Lansdowne and a gain for Table View clinic as Florence Vaughan has said goodbye to the healthcare facility she has been with for more than four years.

Vaughan might have just spent four years at Lansdowne but her experience in the health fraternity amounts to more than 30 years.

She says she knew from a young age that she was going to be a nurse because caring for other people was always something that came naturally to her.

“I was born a nurse, when I was growing up, I used to look after children of other people when they were maybe at work or sick,” she shares.

Her career, she reveals, began at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1985 where she was working at different wards; something she says she enjoyed because it taught her so much.

“From there, even though she cannot remember the year, she moved to the oncology unit, an experience she says she will forever value.

“Working with cancer patients made me realise that life is precious and short. When you are in that unit you see people feeling lonely needing your care and that is where you have to go beyond your call of duty,” she explains.

During her time as a nurse, she has made many friendships with patients. Some died and she attended their funerals because she felt close to them, she reveals.

When she arrived in Lansdowne she felt she needed to be more than just a nurse but become an active member of the community. With her colleagues, she facilitated community health workshops. In those, she was educating residents about cancer, telling them that if it is detected early it can be treated successfully.

Part of what they also did was to visit crèches to check if children are immunised, they did some camping drives for residents and distributed condoms.

“We also did educational informal talks in the communities about general health matters,” she says.

Vaughan emphasises the importance of passion for people who want to join nursing, saying they should not do it because it is the only available course in an institution.

“When I started out, I was earning R365 a month. What I want to say is money should not be the factor that will drive people to the profession. Caring for people should be,” she encourages.

She had a great impact in the area she was serving such that ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt spoke highly of her.

He said he has worked with her on several occasions and she was dedicated.

“She bears and personifies the name of Florence Nightingale very well, she was born to be a nurse.

“She epitomises Ubuntu,” said Kleinschmidt.

He said the community of Lansdowne will miss her very much, especially her hands-on approach in her work.

Kleinschmidt added that what Vaughan does is not just a job but a calling and she was doing it exceptionally well.

“She is a role-model who helped people physically, medically and more so spiritually,” he said.

He wishes her all the best in the future saying a talented practitioner like her had a lot to offer and could be an inspiration to many.

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