“Find what you love to do, love what you do … Believe what you do is great…"
These were the words of Anita van der Merwe, emeritus professor in the department Nursing and Midwifery, at a departmental achievement awards event held recently to acknowledge the top academic and clinical achievers in all the department's post-graduate programmes as well as in the Masters in Nursing.
Awards and prizes were awarded to postgraduate students for academic excellence and perseverance in the disciplines of midwifery, operating theatre, ICU, Nursing Education and Management, as well as Primary Care.
In an address which focused on the theme of 'brilliance', Van der Merwe stressed the importance of small acts of kindness in the nursing profession.
“Brilliance grows in the soil of what we do better and kinder every day," she said.
The event was opened by Prof Portia Jordan, head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, and the FMHS Dean, Prof Jimmy Volmink, welcomed all guests and stakeholders.
The prestigious Dr Pat Gorvalla award for Masters Research Implementation went to Shanaz Adams for her study entitled The Experiences of Clinical Staff about Transformational Change Management at an Emergency Centre.
Adams' study looked at the systemic challenges faced by a primary health care facility in the Western Cape which was the subject of an investigation by the Public Protector's office in 2009 – and at the subsequent improvement strategy – based on a transformational change philosophy – which was initiated in the Emergency Centre.
In an apt reference to the important role of kindness in the nursing profession, Van der Merwe quoted from the book The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson: “Both joy and tragedy build a nurse."