After studying physiotherapy at the University of Cape Town (UCT), Zaahida completed her community service at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital last year. As a leading institute for child healthcare, the Hospital stole her heart. She decided that she would stay and work full time as a physiotherapist.
Zaahida was delighted when she was allocated to the Burns Unit at the Hospital. She explains, “It is very different to all of the other wards in the hospital.”
At first it was overwhelming to experience the trauma that burns patients have often undergone. However, with a strong support system within the unit, she has learnt how to be strong of her patients and give the best possible care. She feels like she can now cope with all types of injuries and situations. As a physiotherapist working with the burns patients, she really gets to know each patient as well as possible. Her aim is to get them moving as much as possible through daily physiotherapy sessions so that they can heal and recover. Part of Zaahida’s job is also to educate the mothers on first aid and prevention, in order to protect children from these terrible accidents in the future. The best part of Zaahida’s day is seeing the little patients’ faces light up with excitement when they know they are going to have a physio session in the Hospital gym. The Burns Unit is the only ward that has its own built-in gym for its patients, which is a great advantage for the physiotherapists as well as the patients.
The Burns Unit now feels like home to Zaahida and she couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. She is passionate about children and has no desire to leave the Hospital anytime soon. Zaahida is a dedicated and committed physiotherapist with a strong passion for helping her patients regain their sense of well-being. It’s her compassion, however, that makes her a beacon of strength for her patients and her colleagues.