Nomsa Shaba


1. What is your name?

Nomsa Shaba

2. Which hospice do you work for?

Stepping Stone Hospice

3. What do you do there?

I work as a Community Nurse

4. How long have you been there?

5 months


1. Why did you decide to focus on palliative care?

I have decided to focus on Palliative Care to improve patient’s quality of life and to render holistic care to meet patients and family needs.

 2. What gives you the greatest fulfilment?

I get fulfilled when patient’s needs are met.

3. What do you find the most challenging?

It is challenging when there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about the patient’s condition and treatment, because this leads to late referrals to palliative care.

 4. What do you think people find the most challenging about a life-threatening diagnosis?

Acceptance – people often find it difficult to accept the diagnosis and its implications to their quality of life. Financial strains often disables patients to access medical services on time.

 5. What do you think that you personally bring to your job that reflects who you are as a person?

I bring understanding since one should be at a level where people could disclose and trust me with their issues.

6. How do you take care of your own health and balance?

I usually talk about my work experiences with my family and colleagues – I take care of my own health by having a lot of rest and meditating.

 7. What is your advice to anyone else wishing to join your profession?

The person must be willing to learn, research and love what they are doing.

8. What is your advice to anyone given a life-threatening diagnosis?

First, the person should get information about the disease process and its implications – and then go for counselling and ask for clarity where needed.

 9. What is your advice to the loved ones of anyone who is given a life-threatening diagnosis?

The loved ones should be supportive and be willing to love unconditionally.

10. How do your loved ones feel about the work that you do?

My loved ones are supportive as they understand the kind of work I am doing.

 11. What do you like the most about the hospice that you work with?

I love the teamwork at SSH – multidisciplinary work enables us to identify patient and family needs, whereby each member has a specific work to do.   Decision making is made collaboratively and each member reports back on patient progression.

12. Do you have a “motto” that you tend to live by that you would like to share?

“Take each day as it comes”

NOTE FROM CEO: Nomsa is our newest member of staff.  She has locumed at SSH for some time and finally we were able to appoint her late last year.  She is an absolute treasure and already we have had great feedback from families, patients, and doctors on the work she does.  She is calm, does not become flustered, has a gentle way and is a very humble person.  Nomsa is such an asset to the team.  Nomsa is busy with the Short Course in Palliative Care