Nursing students from the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Health Science Department who are to embark on their nursing journey, took a pledge to serve humanity at their annual Lamp Lighting ceremony on Friday, 22 January 2016 held at the UJ Art Centre, Kingsway campus, Auckland Park.
“The tradition of the Lighting of the Lamp ceremony serves as a symbol in Nursing from Florence Nightingale who is known as the founder of modern-day nursing.
“I believe the Lighting of the Lamp is your most blessed, precious moment in your lifetime as a nurse. Once a nurse always a nurse. You enter into this ceremony and publicly pledge: ‘I solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity…’ It is awesome and life-changing. When you listen to your students during this fervent, solemn moment, an involuntary lump appears in your throat,” said Ms Irene Kearns, Head of Department.
The ceremony, attended by 25 Baccalaureus Curationis (B Cur nursing) students, their parents, personnel, professional boards and industry members such as The Department of Health, Helen Joseph Hospital and Rahima Moosa hospital of the community, all gathered to welcome students to their chosen profession.
National Nursing Pledge of the SOUTH AFRICAN NURSING COUNCIL
“I solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity and will endeavor to practice my profession with conscience and with dignity,” states the pledge taken by nursing graduates in South Africa.
“I will maintain by all the means in my power the honor the noble traditions of my profession. The total health of my patients will be my first consideration. I will hold in confidence all personal matters coming to my knowledge. I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.
“I will maintain the utmost respect for human life. I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.”
The ceremony was opened by Prof Lydia Monareng from UNISA. Guests were welcomed by the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Science, Prof André Swart. Guest speaker Dr Elizabeth Kaye-Peterson from Gauteng Department of Health addressed the students on how to go about their career with a passion. Mrs Zodwa Sisulu and Mrs Sizani Sisulu also attended the ceremony.
Albertina Sisulu award
Lungile Mkatshwa was awarded with one of the most prestigious awards within the department, the Albertina Sisulu award, which is awarded to a student for demonstrating the spirit of anti–apartheid activist and stalwart Albertina Sisulu, throughout the four years’ of study.
Advocates for the powerless
Student Representative in Nursing Studies for 2015, Ms Refiloe Madisha acknowledged their roles as advocates for the ailing. “As nurses we provide basic care to patients. We are the eyes of patients that can’t see,” she said.
“We are the hands of those that are powerless, the voice of those with communication barriers or those with no voice. We are at the patient’s bedside 24 hours a day. We are the first to notice a change in our patients, and most importantly we are advocates for them.”
Nursing is a calling
“Somebody once said nursing is both a profession and a calling. I believe I am one of those who have a calling into this profession,” said Skhumbuzo Manana, enthusiastic Class Representative from first year and SRC member
Other awards presented at the ceremony
On the evening, various awards were presented to students.
L. Sedisa received four awards: Excellence in research prize, Community nursing science, Medical Surgical Nursing, Psychiatric and mental health nursing science
L. Mkatshwa received an award for Family Health (Midwifery) and the Albertina Sisulu award
D. Mofokeng: Nursing Dynamics
N. Dube: Henrietta Stockdale trophy
B Mahlalela: Henrietta Stockdale trophy