The Durban University of Technology (DUT) is commending all its essential services workers for their dedication and commitment in providing services to the DUT community during the COVID-19 pandemic. DUT’s Communication team’s, Simangele Zuma spoke to one of the frontline workers, Mr. Ngcebo Mkhize, who is a professional nurse at DUT’s Isolempilo Campus Health Clinic. Nurse Mkhize has been at the forefront since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.
Q: Please tell me about your journey at DUT?
A: “It has been a long and exciting journey. I started back in 2012 as an undergraduate student. Even to date, I am still grateful for being part of the DUT community and I am looking forward to maintaining the moral values of the institution i.e. Envision2030 (The right kind of student).”
Q: How long have you been in that role?
A: “I have been working as a professional nurse at DUT Isolempilo Campus Health Clinic for three years now.”
Q: How would you describe yourself in five words?
A: “Personable, introvert, ethical, visionary and ambitious.”
Q: How has it been like working during COVID-19?
A: “It has been challenging, I don’t want to lie. I am grateful to serve during the time of crisis and reach out to individuals in need of help either medically or mentally.”
Q: How do you deal with the fear of contracting COVID-19?
A: “I think it is normal to feel anxious and worried during a crisis, but I have faith and I ensure precautionary measures are in place at all times as per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.”
Q: Your typical day entails?
A: “First things first, is to check and respond to emails before anything. Then from 08h00 to 16h00 I consult, treat symptoms if present and health educate. If a COVID-19 test is required, I do test that person. After work I play soccer to maintain my health status.”
Q: What went through your mind when you first conducted the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 tests?
A: “I felt a sense of self-worth and I identified myself as a frontline worker.”
Q: Have you been vaccinated? What is your take on the vaccine?
A: “No, I have not been vaccinated yet. I will definitely take the vaccine soon as it becomes available.”
Q: When not at work, what do you do for fun?
“I like to do a lot of things, but I enjoy playing and watching football. I enjoy it a lot and the feelings are just indescribable. I also like reading articles, meeting locals, and taking long walks just to absorb the atmosphere of the city.”
Q: If you were not a healthcare worker, what would you be and why?
A: “Honestly, I have never envisioned myself not working as a healthcare provider. It has always been my passion.”
Pictured: Mr Ngcebo Mkhize, professional nurse at DUT’s Isolempilo Campus Health Clinic.