Early Career Background
In 1974, Lynette started her professional nursing career working in Klerksdorp where she did her general nursing and midwifery training. 10 years later she worked as an Occupational Health Nursing Sister at the mines where she did health assessments for all employees. This included x-rays and attending to injuries at the local mine hospital.
Unfortunately due to her son’s medical condition, Lynette was forced to work half days to attend to his needs and fortunately found other employment at a pathologist.
Was nursing something you always wanted to do?
I always wanted to become a teacher but when it was time to write my final exam, it was discovered that I couldn’t continue as I had 5 abnormalities with my eyes. This was hard for me and during this time I decided to do nursing instead. After completing my studies, the practical training was quite interesting and as midwife I am proud to say that I delivered 45 babies.
How did you find Brits Hospice?
One morning while listening to the radio station, one of the people being interviewed at the time was talking about the organization she was working for, Centurion Hospice. This was the very first time that I ever heard about hospice and was really inspired as to what she was sharing. A few days later while browsing through the local newspaper, I saw an advertisement that Brits Hospice was looking for a part- time professional nurse. I then applied and got the job. I believe that God has prepared me for this job because as time passed, I later became employed full time, followed by becoming the nursing service manager and today I am the hospice manager. I have grown tremendously and have never looked back.
Adjusting to roles
At the beginning it was very hard for me to adjust to the “palliative care” environment. Although I had years of professional nursing experience, my knowledge about palliative care was completely clueless. It didn’t seem right that the carers and staff I was working with knew about palliative care – and I didn’t.
I then approached our CEO at the time and expressed my need to gain better knowledge around palliative care and it was at this stage where she recommended I do a care givers course as well as palliative care course through Sungardens Hospice which I did and completed.
The training was very informative and valuable and has given me a better understanding of the need of palliative care not only for the patient but for the whole family as well.
Funding is always a challenge when it comes to delivering a service which is much needed, however the patients needs always comes first and we will remain positive and give of our best.
I have the most amazing team. Without them – I don’t think I can achieve anything. They are the reason that I come to work each day!