‘Growing up in hospitals taught me a love for medicine’

Posted on 22 May 2018

Robin Axelson, a Professional Nurse at a Mediclinic Emergency Centre in the Western Cape, says the small everyday miracles, such as the look of relief when a patient feels better, makes her see her job as part of her destiny.

‘I grew up in a very small town in the Eastern Cape. As an asthmatic child, I was often in hospitals. It was a very different experience back then. The staff was very good, but they put me in the adult female ward, because there were no paediatric wards at the time. I remember feeling isolated and missing my parents very much.

‘I started my nursing career in paediatrics and the way they treat children in Mediclinic is just incredible; it’s a completely different experience for paediatric patients these days. I’m always grateful for how the discipline has evolved since the 1980s.’

‘My interest in nursing piqued when I was about eight years old: I was given a doctor’s set with a reflex hammer and stethoscope. I had no idea how to use them but they fascinated me. After 36 years of nursing, I’ve walked a long path and my career is now a big part of who I am.’

‘I really love seeing people get better. When patients come into the Emergency Centre, they’re often bed-ridden by trauma or illness. When I visit them a week later in the wards and they’re walking again: it just feels incredible to see them well on their way to recovery.’

‘There are many patients who have stood out for me over the years. I recently got to know an athlete who had been hit by a car. She spent many weeks in hospital and I often visited her to check on her recovery. It was a great moment when she was finally discharged and given a clean bill of health, even though she may need reconstructive surgery in future.’

‘I also recently got to know a patient who came in with all the classic symptoms of a stroke: we gave him what he needed, and in less than an hour, he was already on the mend.’

‘Being part of everyday miracles means it’s not just a job for me.’

Published in Emergency

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