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From Operating Theatre Cleaner To Registered Nurse
Date Posted: 24/Aug/2017
If you have a dream, do not expect someone else to give it to you on a silver platter....These were the words of a mother of three who has finally achieved her long time dream of becoming a registered nurse. 
The mother of three passed her Bridging Course II with honours and had also received the Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital Award, the Professional Development Trophy and a silver medal for her academic performance in both the Bridging I and Bridging II courses.
"It was a great honour to receive these awards, and it has motivated me to keep working hard and study further," she said.
The 37-year-old started as a theatre cleaner at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital in 2008 before beginning her studies in May 2010. She previously worked at a factory in Atlantis, Western Cape, but was retrenched. An emotional Plaatjies said she used her retrenchment money to get married and also did a nursing development course, but the course was eventually shut down. 
She wanted to become a nurse because she always admired the work they did.
"I admired them so much, and I longed to be able to care for patients as a nurse. I thought, if they can do it then I can do it," Plaatjies said.
Caroline Plaatjies graduated from the Netcare Education graduation ceremony in Cape Town on July 27.
'It was hard for us'
The road to her dream was not easy and Plaatjies had to overcome several obstacles. She had two children and a third on the way. 
Her husband was unemployed, but she kept her head down and continued to save up enough money to begin her nursing studies. 
"It was hard for us, but you do what you have to do to work towards your dreams."
Plaatjies loves her work and finds caring for patients rewarding, saying it has been a difficult road and that she had to work hard to get where she is today. Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital general manager, Dirk Truter praised Plaatjies for achieving her dream. 
"From the time Caroline began working as a cleaner at the hospital, she distinguished herself. Punctual, compassionate, diligent and caring, she has always had a positive attitude and continues to motivate other staff members with her work ethic," Truter said. 
Inspiring others
Truter said Plaatjies has a wonderfully caring nature and is a favourite with the patients. He said she had earned the respect of many managers, doctors and nursing colleagues.  
"She is always respectful of others and has made a great contribution to the hospital and its patients, both in her capacity as a cleaner and more recently as a nurse. She has come a long way to her current position as a shift leader, and we look forward to seeing her progress to even greater heights in the future," he said. 
She said she inspired her husband and children to follow their dreams and that nothing is impossible if you believe. Her daughter, who is currently a matriculant, is going to study accounting next year. 
"If mommy can do it, so can they. They are very proud of me and I was able to inspire them. My husband is going to study education through Unisa next year."  
Plaatjies dreams of obtaining a PhD in nursing in the next 10 years.
Iavan Pijoos, News24

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