Mother of three, Caroline Plaatjies, is no stranger to hard work and sacrifice. At the recent Netcare Education graduation ceremony in Cape Town, she beamed with pride at achieving her ambition of becoming a registered nurse after having passed her Bridging Course II with honours.
“I started out as a theatre cleaner at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital in 2008, and I would see the nurses and the work they do in helping people. I admired them so much, and I longed to be able to care for patients as a nurse. I thought, if they can do it then I can do it,” says Sr Plaatjies.
“It was not easy, I had two young children and another one on the way. My husband was unemployed, but I kept working as a cleaner and each month we would have to make sacrifices as a family to save up enough money for me to begin my nursing studies. It was hard for us, but you do what you have to do to work towards your dreams.”
At the Netcare Education graduation ceremony, Sr Plaatjies received a number of accolades for her academic performance. She received the Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital Award, the Professional Development Trophy and a silver medal for her academic performance in both the Bridging I and Bridging II courses.
“It was a great honour to receive these awards, and it has motivated me to keep working hard and study further. My dream is to obtain a PHD in nursing in the next 10 years.”
Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital general manager, Dirk Truter, praised Sr Plaatjies for her tenacity in becoming a registered nurse. “From the time Caroline began working as a cleaner at the hospital, she distinguished herself. Punctual, compassionate, diligent and caring, she has always had a positive attitude and continues to motivate other staff members with her work ethic,” he observes.
“Sr Plaatjies has a wonderfully caring nature, and is a favourite with our patients. When she became an enrolled nurse, her manager noticed her ability to integrate her knowledge and skills to plan her patients’ care.
“As she progressed through the ranks, Sr Plaatjies earned the respect of her managers, doctors and nursing colleagues. She is always respectful of others and has made a great contribution to the hospital and its patients, both in her capacity as a cleaner and more recently as a nurse. She has come a long way to her current position as a shift leader, and we look forward to seeing her progress to even greater heights in the future,” he asserts.
Sr Plaatjies explains that she loves her work, and finds caring for patients extremely rewarding. “It has been a difficult road and I have had to work hard to get to this point. It has all been well worthwhile because I absolutely love my job, and I want to encourage others to follow their dreams,” she adds.
“If you have a dream, do not expect someone else to give it to you on a silver platter. You will have to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve the things you want in life. Everybody has something beautiful to contribute if they choose to make it happen. My advice to others is ‘go for it’,” Sr Plaatjies concluded.
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