31 August 2012
Professor Laetitia Rispel gave the keynote address at the nursing graduation ceremony of the West Rand Learning College, Life Health Care, on 3 August 2012. In her speech, she addressed commitment to nursing care and the ability to function in today’s reality.
She suggested that "all of us are responsible for the ability of nurses to care for patients and communities. If we do not do our parts to create an enabling environment, we will experience the resultant consequences of the lack of care or the lack of commitment to nursing care."
Prof. Rispel said the notion of caring is almost synonymous with nursing, and argued that it was "not possible to care for another person unless you care for yourself. Caring can only occur when there is a reciprocal relationship and when support and encouragement is given and received. It is not possible for a young woman to emerge from a traumatic and uncaring family or community background and magically become capable of caring for others, any more than it is possible for a young nurse or new graduate to care for others in a working environment which lacks respect, trust and caring," she said.
"Just as I hope and trust that those of you graduating will receive the support and care from family, friends, colleagues and managers, I trust that the patients or community members will receive the same from you. It is important to remember that you are paid for the knowledge and skills you have acquired to assist you to look after the health needs of the patients. You are not paid to care. Caring a responsibility that all of us must have to our fellow human beings and, in the case of nurses; the responsibility extends to patients and community members," she concluded.
This was a proud moment for the nursing graduates, and Life Health Care thanked Prof. Rispel for her speech which was "meaningful and interesting and delivered with much affection and energy!"