DENOSA Professional Institute's (DPI) coordinator, Thoko Kgongwana, has just addressed the Midwifery Symposium currently underway and is hosted by SG Lourens Nursing College in Pretoria today, 17 July 2014. She delivered a presentation on Midwifes’ role as both managers and leaders.
The symposium provides a platform for midwives who have done research on a number of key subjects to share their results with the midwifery community. In attendance at the symposium are universities, hospitals around Gauteng and clinics around Tshwane region, nursing colleges, district specialists and nursing organisations such as DENOSA.
“Even young nurses are leaders in their own right and in their own little space that they operate in,” she said, adding that the current environment that midwives operate under demands that they become leaders who advocate for their patients.
"As health professionals, we are the majority health professionals and we spend most of our time with our patients. Unfortunately, we are also viewed as perpetrators in as far as serious adverse event that occur in our facilities..." she said.
She called for nursing community to share its challenges with community members, so that they could be aware that nurses care. “This means including them in gatherings such as these, which will also help us to understand whether what we do or give is what communities need. Even the new curriculum that is coming in 2015, are we sure that it embraces all the needs of communities?” she posed the mind-pricking question.
Kgongwana has urged nurses to take advantage of capacity-building programmes which DPI is driving throughout the country and which develop nurses into both managers and leaders. She mentioned the Health Workers For Change programme that the Institute is embarking on in Northern Cape where the attitude of health workers has transformed for the better, by ensuring that both community members and health workers sit around the table and understand each other fully.
She shared with the audience the opportunities that DPI provides to nurses, such as information-sharing Brown Bag Lunch Seminar which the Institute hosts four times a year. “We’ve just had one on the 13th of June and the next one will in October. If you have done research and you’d like to share your experience, contact us and this is the right platform to share such information.”
She said nurses can only grow professionally if they united under an organisation that is led by nurses and which seeks to provide for the needs of nurses as both professionals and workers, and for nurses to be able to understand the politics and how they influence the profession even so they tackle the political challenges head-on. “Politics are about our very water and lights challenges. Nurses can’t render a quality service if there is no water in a facility and that’s how politics affect the profession itself. We need to tackle those.
Research topics at the Symposium include Psychological support for pregnant women, Neonatal Early Warning Signs, Causes of Maternal Deaths in South Africa, Experience of P/ Natal Care as well as Litigation and Professional Misconduct Matters.