I've been told this is not uncommon. Many nurses in SA are barely trained and demostrate a startling lack of care for people in the 'caring' profession.
A prominent Durban educationist has lodged a complaint with the South African Nursing Council after her dying 88-year-old mother was allegedly abused by nurses who threatened to "moer" (hit) her and then slapped and "knuckled" her on the head.
Dr Edwina Grossi, founder of Wonderland and Embury College in Morningside, said she was determined to highlight the alleged abuse to "get caring back in the nursing profession" and to prevent other patients from suffering the same plight.
Grossi's mother, Sylvia Akal, 88, an Alzheimer patient with lucid moments, was admitted on her deathbed to Netcare's St Augustine's Hospital in Glenwood on April 16. She died two days later.
When her mother was admitted, Grossi said she had been very weak, had vomited and her stomach appeared distended.
"My mother was frightened and I knew that, due to her condition, she would need someone with her all the time," Grossi said. Her mother's caregiver, who asked to remain anonymous, stayed with her in the hospital at night and witnessed the alleged abuse.
"The caregiver was quite distressed as she said that on the night of April 16 when two nurses came to attend to my mother they were very rough with her. Mom, who had a catheter and a drip, must have lashed out at the one nurse as she was frightened and was actually on her deathbed. The nurse, then slapped my frail, 88-year-old mother, whose skin was very thin on her arms, and the nurse with her said 'Hey ouma, I'll moer you'. This is total abuse," Grossi said.