Health-e (Cape Town)

South Africa: Free State Clinic Manager Celebrates 20 Years in Nursing Profession

Bethlehem — Lindi Twala, manager of the Bohlokong Clinic in Bethlehem, in the Free State, recently celebrates 20 years in the nursing profession.

Lindi has lived in Bethlehem all her life. She was born and raised there by her grandmother. From humble beginnings, Lindi worked hard to achieve success in life.

After completing her matric she qualified for a bursary that gave her the opportunity to do a degree in nursing. "Growing up, I have always had the caring element. I would wash my grandmother's feet and rub her back," said Lindi. "Then I knew my passion was helping other people, my praise and thanks to God for the opportunity to complete this study," she said.

Lindi began her career in 1993 as a nurse at the Mphohadi Clinic in Bethlehem, and since 1996 she has been a clinic manager at the Bohlokong Clinic. Under her management the clinic has developed a reputation for excellence in service delivery.

"As a manager, I do not just sit in my office - I am hands-on," said Lindi. "It helps me to interact with patients to find out where the problems are such as medication shortage. Because I am directly involved, I attend to them in time," she said.

Under Lindi's management, the clinic has made various changes to its work procedures that improved service delivery. Among these are the sitting arrangement, where patients with different diseases/conditions sit in different waiting areas. For example, mothers and babies, TB patients, and general patients each have their own waiting area. According to Lindi, this does not only help with infection control, but patients with similar problems get to interact and share advices, especially new mothers.

The Boholokong community views her as the "mother" of the clinic. Ntswaki Mokoena a regular patient of the Bohlokong clinic said: "This is our clinic of hope. Just two weeks back when the clinic was out of blood pressure pills. Like a mother Twala instructed that in a bottle of 30 pills each should get 15 pills, sharing the pills amongst the patients."

But according to Lindi it isn't always easy. "It has not only been a smooth journey. I have also met critics, there were times I felt like giving up. But my spiritual life has kept me this far. Nursing is not just a career, it is passion. It must come from the bottom of one's heart," Lindi said.

Among other achievements, in 2007 Lindi received an award for being the Best Professional Nurse. She is still in love with her job and will continue in this profession until retirement.

Selloane Molakeng is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Thabo Mofutsanyana health district in the Free State

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