As we continue our #HospiceVisits, we meet Connie Monaheng, Nursing Services Manager for Hospice Matlosana.
Despite retiring 13 years ago before joining hospice, Connie believes that if you are passionate about something, it is not easy to let go. Connie was born in Limpopo in 1947 where she spent most of her childhood and then moved to Soweto where she completed her junior certificate. Once she completed school, she had a choice between becoming a teacher (which was predominant in her community) or a nurse. Connie’s first “career choice” was to become a nurse but because she was afraid that she would not qualify to study it, she opted to become a teacher instead. She became qualified and started teaching at a high school for 1 year.
Finding out later that she actually qualified to study nursing, she then left her teaching career and started focusing on what she was passionate about. In 1968 after completing her studies, she spent her nursing training at Masana Hospital and persued her career until she reached the age of retirement. “It’s not easy to just stop what you are passionate about. I needed to do something more to give back” she said. Connie worked for an old age home in Klerksdorp for 1 where she did general nursing. It was something that kept her busy but due to irregular long working hours, she decided to leave because as a pensioner and someone who came out of retirement, it was something she was not prepared to do.
Connie wasn’t going to give up just yet and was determined to continue her passion for nursing. In 2003 she saw an ad in a local newspaper. Hospice Matlosana was looking for a nurse and she decided to apply and got the job. 13 years later and she is still there enjoying what she does. Connie expresses that during her studies and even her practical, palliative care was never heard of. Patients would be assessed, prescribed medication and sent home. “Today’s approach to the patient’s needs is assessed as a whole addressing the physical, spiritual & emotional needs not only to the patient but to the whole family “she said.
Noticing the emblems displayed on her shoulder, I always wondered what the different colours meant. Connie was so kind to explain:
Green (Midwifery) – this includes delivering babies
Yellow (Community Work) – visiting patients in the community and addressing their needs’
White (Nursing Education/ Tutor) – this allows you to do nurse training
Connie expresses that she has a lot of experience and will continue her journey in nursing for as long as she can.