This year marks the 46th anniversary of Sister Hester Johnson working as a nurse in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town and today she was visited by the Western Cape Health Minister, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo who surprised Sister Johnson on her special anniversary. Johnson started training to become a nurse at the tender age of 17 after she completed her Grade 10 certificate.
“When I was young I always said that I really wanted to be a nurse and I was the youngest of seven children so being a nurse would enable me to take care of my parents in the old age,” says Sister Johnson who was beaming with glee at the idea of celebrating such a significant milestone in her life.
The sister celebrated her 65th birthday on the 4th of May and is sad to be retiring because of her immense dedication to her patients, her profession and the hospital.
“I wanted to do things for other people and I wanted to take care of them,” Sister Johnson explained when asked why she became a nurse.
“I tried to show the utmost respect for everyone not only for my colleagues, but for my patients as well; because of the respect I show, I work well with my fellow nurses and built many friendships with them and the patients. I have never had any problems with patients and that I can say with pride.”
Originally from Franschhoek, Sister Johnson moved to Ravensmead when she started working at Karl Bremmer hospital before moving to Tygerberg hospital.
“I’m going to miss my work after I retire. I’ll perhaps be more involved with in the community,” Sister Johnson added.
“The reality of retirement is clear and I know one of these days I have to leave even though I so badly still want to be a nurse,” she concluded.
The visit comes ahead of International Nurses Day on the 12 May 2016 and honours the nurse Johnson’s 46 years of service to communities through nursing.
Sister Johnson began her work at Tygerberg Hospital in 1972 within the hospital’s Cardio Thoracic Unit and is a recipient of Clinical Excellence award.
“Dedicated nurses like Ms Johnson are at the coalface of service delivery. Without them, we would never be able to provide services which are so needed by the people of the Western Cape. Some of our nurses work in far flung areas and in some under strenuous circumstances,” said the Western Cape of Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
“These nurses are the backbone of our health system and I want them to know that their work and dedication is valued.”
VOC (Umarah Hartley)