Local hospital cleaner becomes a nurse: ‘My next dream is to get my doctorate!’

2017-08-25 16:37
PHOTO: Supplied

PHOTO: Supplied

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As a cleaner at the Blaauwberg Netcare Hospital in Cape Town, Caroline Plaatjies watched the nurses closely as she worked.

“I started cleaning hospital theatres in 2008,” she says.

“I saw how the nurses helped the patients and I admired the way they worked. I also had the desire to, like them, care for people and I thought that if they could do it then I could do it too.”

It is exactly what the mother-of-three of did. Thanks to the Netcare upliftment programme, she recently completed her two bridging courses with distinction and can now proudly say that she is a registered nurse.

“It wasn’t easy,” she admits. “I had two small children and was pregnant with the third. My husband was unemployed.”

“I kept working as a cleaner and our family had to make sacrifices every month so that there would be enough money for me to do my nursing course.”

“It was incredibly hard to find the money for the courses, but that was what needed to be done for me to strive toward my dreams.”

Caroline also walked away with a slew of awards, like the Netcare Blaauwberg hospital prize, the prize for professional development and a silver medal for her achievement in the course.

“It was wonderful to receive those awards,” she says. 

 “It motivated me to work even harder and study further. My dream is to in the next ten years get my doctorate in nursing sciences.”

Caroline says that if you have a dream, you must strive towards it.

“Don’t expect people to offer things to you on a silver platter.”

“You will need to work hard and fight for what you want.”

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