New job became a game-changer

October 16,2017. Medical technologist Thando Nhlapo-Ndamane works for Mediosa, a newlyestablished health laboratory in Midrand. Pic. Kabelo Mokoena. © Sowetan.
October 16,2017. Medical technologist Thando Nhlapo-Ndamane works for Mediosa, a newlyestablished health laboratory in Midrand. Pic. Kabelo Mokoena. © Sowetan.

Could quitting a comfortable and secure job for unknown challenges of a new position be the game-changer that a Benoni, Ekurhuleni, mother needed?

Mother-of-two Thando Nhlapo-Ndamane left a job she had held for seven years without any plan-B .

"I had just been back at my previous position for two weeks from maternity leave when I informed my boss I was leaving," she said.

Nhlapo-Ndamane loathed working in a confined laboratory, with set hours and limited interaction with people.

Although Nhlapo-Ndamane had heard of another job opportunity in the industry, she was not sure about her prospects as she had not yet been interviewed nor employed.

The 30-year old is now an employee of Mediosa, a newly-formed health laboratory in Midrand, Johannesburg.

"A few days after my first interview with the company's directors, I got the shock of my life when they said 'here is an empty space, we would like you to start a lab for us'," she said.

"I have always wanted more from my job, but never expected this. I had always imagined something extraordinary, but nothing like what I'm experiencing.

"I wanted more than set lab hours, but now I'm exercising skills I never thought I possessed. I manage people, I source funding, etc," she said excitedly.

Nhlapo-Ndamane said she had to learn to appreciate and love her new job to find out where her true strengths lie.

"When you dislike something, you cannot learn or see any good in it, but if you change your attitude, you can learn so much about yourself."

Nhlapo-Ndamane has worked at National Health Laboratory Services, Ampaths and had a stint at Lancet.

She has a Biomedical Technology Diploma from the Vaal University of Technology. She said she first wanted to be a doctor but it was more (of) what her parents wanted.

Now Nhlapo-Ndamane's daily duties include testing blood and running staff and the laboratory.

"I look at blood cells in a person's body, how they produce, function and die. In some cases you find that blood cells produce in large numbers that do not function, as in the case with leukaemia, that's where you would find lumps," Nhlapo-Ndamane said.

"I have also been trained to fix our laboratory equipment."

Although she is a qualified medical technologist, she has also passed one board exam in haematology.

"There are three board exams - microbiology, chemistry and haematology - and all three make up clinical pathology."

Nhlapo-Ndamase's new position has given her a new lease on life.

She enrolled for a Bcom law degree in 2012, but later changed it to an LLB which she is yet to complete because: "I love people and also love arguing", Nhlapo-Ndamane added.

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