• Jacomien Bezuidenhout

Answer the call – why a career in nursing is still on the table

Updated: Jan 9

Johannesburg – It’s someone with a very specific nature that joins the medical service and social worker fields. When you decide to become a nurse or a social worker, you do it because you want to help people and because you have compassion for those around you.

“Caring for those who are unable to do so themselves is a noble profession; it’s a profession that should be praised and honoured by all,” says Mr Mpumelelo Sibiya, Public Health and Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council (PHSDSBC) General Secretary.

Unfortunately, these jobs are being pursued less and less. According to the South African Nursing Council, there is one nurse for every 398 South African citizens; and almost 50% of the register nurses are between 50 and 69 years old, while only 5% is under 30.

“In general, nurses are already overworked; it is frightening to think what will happen if these numbers don’t increase soon. The fact of the matter is nurses are the backbone of the medical world, and without them at their best or at their posts, lives are in danger,” comments Sibiya.

Especially in the public sector, we see a lot of unrest in the medical profession. Disputes that range from working hours to salaries. It’s no secret that these issues stand out like a red flag when it comes to making career choices. But with the right tools and protocols, these need not be escalated to such extreme levels.

PHSDSBC or the Council is an authoritative body that handles work disputes on behalf of medical and social practitioners. The Council’s goal is to create a beneficial working environment for both the employee and the employer.

“More often, these are thankless and hard jobs, but we’ve also seen the joy they can bring to people who are meant to do it. For this reason, the Council will do everything we can to ensure a just agreement is reached between the parties involved. We step in as an impartial party, assess the charges and negotiate an appropriate and peaceful conclusion,” says Sibiya.

So, answer the call. If you crave a career where you can care for people and help them, don’t let anything stand in your way to join the South African medical or social workforce. Rest assured that you’ll never be alone; the Council is always here to help you fight for a better working environment.

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