Award-winning Tygerberg Hospital nurse Shereen February, 58, retired at the end of last year after almost 40 years of “loyal service” of caring for the sick at Tygerberg Hospital.
The Kuils River resident started her career as an auxiliary nurse at the age of 18 in 1980. Gaining her nursing qualification in 1983, she took up a post as a student midwife at St Monica’s Maternity Hospital in Bonteheuwel but in the same year became a professional nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, which she says became her second home.
Her last day of work was on December 31, 2019.
During the 1990s to 2008, Ms February worked as the senior professional nurse in the radiation oncology wards at the Gene Louw building at Tygerberg Hospital.
Thereafter she worked in the hospital’s and then in the chemo-room, haematology clinic where she treated patients who have disorders of the blood and bone marrowand radiation therapy.
“I was always passionate about caring for people and I always knew that I had the ability to help people,” said Ms February.
Dubbed as Florence Nightingale the second, Ms February bagged many awards and certificates during her career.
In 1985, she received the Ackerman Award at Tygerberg Hospital for being the most reliable and enthusiastic nurse on her team, this is where she got the nickname. In 1989 she received the Best Clinical Nurse Award.
She said her job had been “very rewarding”, but it had also had its hardships.
“The worst part about my job while working with cancer patients was becoming attached to them and then having to say goodbye forever. I also dreaded the moments when patients would come back with bad news from doctors who said there was nothing more they could do.”
She said that without the help of her supportive husband, Arthur, she would not have managed to raise two kids, be a grandmother, wife and a nurse.
Ms February says her new calling, which also includes helping people, is being in ministry.
“My nursing career has taught me kindness and patience, these traits I will use in my community to minister and help the homeless,” she said.
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