'Covid-19 re-ignited my love for nursing,' says Lessie Mbewe

Nurse Mbewe
Nurse Mbewe
Image: Supplied

Covid-19 has revived Lessie Mbewe's love for her profession as a nurse.

Mbewe of Mkhuhlu, in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, says she had always wanted to be a nurse and does not regret her choice one bit. She works at Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.

Mbewe told Sowetan that her love for caring for the sick has made her divide her time for duty at the hospital, and attend to the sick at their homes. She also visits schools to check on her young patients who have specific conditions.

"I started working as a pharmacists assistant at Matikwane Hospital in Mkhuhlu, though I always loved nursing. I was burning inside when I saw nurses taking care of patients wanting to do that very same job. I was trained as a nursing assistant and later joined [a local private clinic]," she explained.

"While there, I enrolled as a staff nurse and later went to Themba Hospital [at Kabokweni] where I became a professional nurse.

"At Themba Hospital, I really saw my passion bearing fruit where I would take maybe two days of leave and use one day to go care for my discharged patients at their homes, especially the elders.

"I would also go to schools to see the progress of my [little] patients with certain conditions [like epilepsy]. I also needed to know if their teachers and peers treated them well."

The mother of four said the community of Kabokweni contributed hugely in her winning numerous awards, including the coveted Cecilia Makiwane Award.

"Nursing is a calling, one needs to love people and love the job. You won't have to tell people that you are at work and it's hard to do so when you do something that you love.

"Again, respect for patients is very important because if they feel comfortable with you and are happy that's when the healing process starts. But if you are treating them badly, it worsens their condition. So for me, Covid-19 or no Covid-19, I'm proud and content with my career," Mbewe said.

"We have protective clothing and I believe God will keep me alive. If it takes dying from the work that I do, I would not mind because it will be from doing what I love.

"I took an oath for this profession and one can't just play with it. As nurses we agreed that we will care and love the sick, regardless of the status, poor or rich, black or white."

Mbewe encouraged young people not to go to nursing if money is the motivation.

"The profession needs people who will be nurses 24/7."

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