Exceptional Nurses

Listening to understand, not to reply

March 24, 2022 Word for Word Media 0Comment

The last winner of our Exceptional Nurse Competition is Sister Tienie Ackermann from Dr Dino Chetty, Clinical and Radiation Oncologist. She was nominated by metastatic breast cancer patient, Romana James.

The patient

Romana James (30) lives in Pretoria with her husband and two children, aged 5 and 3.

In life, you can meet someone new but have an instant affinity with them. This is exactly how Romana felt when she met Sister Tienie. “I’ve met many nurses since my breast cancer diagnosis and Sister Tienie definitely stands out. She is down-to-earth, always ready to listen, and cares very deeply. 

I haven’t actually known her for long but became very fond of her from the minute I met her. She is welcoming, kind and sincere,” Romana explains.

Romana was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in 2019. The 30-year-old started with radiation to treat two bone fractures, one in her neck and another in her spine. She then had six months of chemotherapy and trastuzumab. 

The mother of two is currently on capecitabine oral chemotherapy tablets and receives trastuzumab every three weeks.

“I remember being very stressed out one day about something. Sister Tiene listened attentively and continuously assured me that everything was going to be fine and that I should not stress. She really tried her utmost best to make me feel better and she certainly did lift my spirits. For me, this is what an exceptional nurse is. One who is friendly, kind, and compassionate towards their patient, and listens to what they are saying.”

The Nurse

Tienie Ackermann (63) lives in Waterkloof, Pretoria. She is married and has three adult children. 

With over 40 years in the healthcare industry, Sister Tienie, an oncology nurse practitioner, has experience in various fields. She has a Postgraduate Degree in medical and surgical oncology with distinction, a Degree in management science with distinction, a Diploma in general nursing science with distinction, and a Diploma in infection control science. Twenty-five of these years have been in clinical pathology. She is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in oncology – palliative care.  

With only working at Dr Dino Chetty, Clinical and Radiation Oncologist for eight months, Sister Tienie has certainly made her mark and that mark entails making her patients feel heard and cared for. 

“I feel so privileged that Romana nominated me as I am passionate about oncology and want to make a difference in my patients’ lives,” Sister Tienie says. This nomination confirms that Sister Tienie is doing just that.

Sister Tienie believes that being a good listener is part of being an exceptional nurse. With all her patients, including Romana, she listens to understand and not listen to reply.

Editor Laurelle Williams

MEET OUR EDITOR – Laurelle Williams

Laurelle is the Editor at Word for Word Media and graduated from AFDA with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Live Performance. She have a love for storytelling and sharing emotions through the power of words. Her aim is to educate, encourage and most of all show there is always hope. Write me: [email protected]