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From fruit vendor to cardiac high-care unit manager, a nurse with a passion for making life better

Rasool Khan’s nursing journey at Life Entabeni Hospital has seen him grow into ever more effective ways to improve the lives of others. | Supplied

Rasool Khan’s nursing journey at Life Entabeni Hospital has seen him grow into ever more effective ways to improve the lives of others. | Supplied

Published May 23, 2022

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Durban - Life Entabeni Hospital bagged a nurse with a deep passion for helping others.

KwaZulu-Natal nurse Rasool Khan went from being a street vendor selling vegetables at the roadside to managing the cardiac high-care unit at one of the most respected hospitals in the country.

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“I believe that I was born to be a nurse, to comfort and help save lives, to teach and to inspire,” Khan said.

“Being a nurse is a calling and a passion – it’s now part of my entire identity.”

Even as a trader selling vegetables in Durban, Khan already felt that passionate calling to make a difference in the lives of others.

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“I was always motivated by a dream to help people – particularly those living with HIV/Aids,” Khan said.

“I felt that nursing would be a way for me to do that. I believed that one day, with great perseverance, I would get the opportunity.”

His first step towards achieving that dream came in 2005 when he was appointed as a seasonal caregiver at the hospital now known as Life Entabeni Hospital.

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In 2008 Khan joined the hospital’s permanent staff after completing his enrolled nursing course. He qualified as a professional nurse in 2011 and then completed a diploma in medical and surgical nursing in 2015.

In 2016, he was appointed as a unit manager in a male surgical ward. He continued his studies and completed a degree in management and education in the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

From January this year – 17 years since his professional nursing journey began – Khan has been the manager in the cardiac high care unit.

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“Choosing a career in nursing is a choice to dedicate yourself to the care of others,” Khan said of his rise through the ranks.

“I see myself as a transformational leader and keeping up with nursing trends is one of my priorities. I hope to keep contributing to healthcare service delivery in our country.”

“Nursing requires dedication and compassion, it involves long hours and many years of studies,” Khan continued.

“But in the end, the reward is fulfilling.”

Khan agreed that nursing can be exhausting but said being in a position to help with the healing of others kept him motivated during challenging times. He believed that healing is about more than just medical treatment – it was also about creating a positive environment.

“I dedicate all my time and effort to bringing a positive, lively atmosphere to the hospital for my patients and colleagues,” Khan said.

“I aim to always bring a smile to the faces of the people around me.”

Khan spent his entire nursing career at Life Entabeni Hospital, caring and upholding the values of the business and striving for excellence. Ever humble, he credited his colleagues for his success in the medical field.

“Sister Swart from Annex Theatre gave me a chance early on; another colleague, Mrs Williamson, kept me motivated and instilled a sense of stability in my life; while regional nurse manager, Karena Goldman, accepted my weaknesses and helped develop my career,” Khan said.

“Senior nurse manager, Indu Ramrattan offered sound advice, and groomed me to become a leader, while nurse manager, Viloshnee Ponnan and nurse manager, Shammimah Samuel both inspired me to become what I am today.”

“I am eternally grateful to my co-workers at Life Entabeni Hospital for motivating and funding me throughout my career journey,” Khan continued.

“I believe I have already made my mark in the company, but I am still growing as a medical professional, and I look forward to doing even more and making a further impact on the lives of my patients and my colleagues.”

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