Mandisa Sonqishe


1. What is your name?
Mandisa Sonqishe

2. Which hospice do you work for?
Highway Hospice

3. What do you do there?
Home Care Sister

4. How long have you been there?
12 years


1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?
Have always been in cancer care (oncology trained), decided to focus on palliative care having been in clinical care when I was younger.

2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?
Making a difference in patients and family lives.

3. What do you find the most challenging?
The greatest challenge is to deal with a family who are looking for cure rather than accepting the impending end of life.

4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?
The “how the end will be, when, who will be around” when it happens and to let go.

5. What do you think that you personally bring to your job that reflects who you are as a person?
– I bring experience, multinational exposure and maturity in dealing with problems.
– The love of teaching / imparting knowledge to others.

6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?
Relaxing, going on holidays (away from the city) and medical check ups.

7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?
Patience, passion, empathy are paramount. If you don’t have these, it will be a difficult task.

8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?
Take one day at a time. Things change.

9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?
You are not dead yet. Live normally and accept a healthy lifestyle.

10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?
They always wonder how I cope. They think I am dealing with death every day. It is not so, there are good moments as well.

11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?
Like education – talking about palliative care.

12. Do you have a “motto” that you tend to live by that you would like to share?
Life is short. Live each day as though there is no tomorrow!!!