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#WomensMonth: Young nurse vows to be a game changer

Young nurse ready to be a game changer.
Written by Pamela Madonsela

Nursing wasn’t her first choice but the profession soon won Ntombiyethu Mtambo over and the young nurse hasn’t looked back. She realised that helping people is a God-given gift and believes her passion will help make a difference in years to come.

The 30-year-old, who holds a diploma in General Nursing, Community, Psychiatry and Midwifery as well as a BCur degree in Management and Administration, is keen to put any negativity aimed at her and her peers to rest.

“It’s very important to be passionate about our work as nurses because we encounter lots of different people and once you show that you are willing to listen and assist in any way possible, you are able to dig a little deeper,” said Mtambo.

“You realize that people come to the clinic seeking more than just healthcare but sometimes a safe place for those who are going through domestic abuse or rape. They need us to be there and we must be able to assist.”

Nursing chose her

Mtambo, who grew up between KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg, believes that nursing chose her because her first option was always radiography.

Nursing also allowed her to work with children, an oppurtunity she embraced with both arms having always loved kids. Her community service stint at the pediatric ward at the South Rand Hospital gave her a chance to fulfil another dream.

“My passion has always been with children right from immunisation to being sick. I love working with them,” added Mtambo.

Making a difference

She told Health-e News how being a nurse also helped uncover a trafficking web.

“After quite a bit of probing,  we were able to assist a young lady who came into the clinic with someone who had trafficked them. We called the police and helped the lady exit through another door. Without passion, we would never have picked up that this lady needed serious help,” said Mtambo.

The toddler mom explains how her love story with nursing unfolded.

“I registered for nursing while I was attending radiography orientation. But I fell in love with nursing because it gives you that adrenaline rush to bring patients back to life which I believe is a gift from God.  The feeling of knowing that you have saved a life is a feeling you cannot exchange for anything.”

Juggling work with motherhood

Mtambo has had to find a balance between having a career and being a mom to a young child.

“I have learnt to manage my time very well and I am very disciplined about leaving work at work so that I can be present for my family after working hours,” she explained.

Working as a healthcare worker during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped Mtambo realise the importance of their roles as nurses

“As much as there is a lot of negativity about us, we are needed a lot during this time because of the important role that we play. Not only to assist patients who walk into our facilities, but to also educate them about the vaccine which is associated with so many conspiracy theories.”

Future ambitions

Mtambo, who lives by the words ‘you reap what you sow’, has goals of changing policies within the National Department of Health.

“In five year’s time, I’d like to see myself as someone who can influence decision-making and policies because I feel that there is a lot happening on the ground. We have duties as healthcare workers to ensure patients take responsibility for their health.” – Health-e News 

About the author

Pamela Madonsela