Kesigie Naidoo, Operations Manager: Cardiac Theatre is working hard to leave a lasting legacy

As Operations Manager of the Cardiac Theatre, Kesigie Naidoo works hard to ensure things work like a well-oiled machine. The journey to her critical role at NMCH has been a combination of chance and destiny.

It all began with a basic nursing career. In the earlier days, Naidoo wasn’t sure where it would lead her but she eventually found herself specialising in theatre nursing.

“Through my short theatre tenure I fell in love with paediatric cardiology and I chose to specialise in it,” she said. 

And so began her chapter at NMCH.

“Coming to work at NMCH was something I thought about even when the hospital was still being built,” Naidoo remembers. 

“Coming from private healthcare, I felt I could use my skills, my knowledge, my expertise at NMCH to take care of patients that are in desperate need of my capabilities.”

It’s been a fulfilling journey since, with success stories and memorable patients. Naidoo smiles as she recalls a little girl who touched her heart. “There was a baby girl who came in with a surgical condition. On her visit to theatre, her mom couldn’t accompany her so the nurses gave her extra love. I think she realised that all these people were showing her love so every time somebody walked past her, she would smile and hold out her arms. Nobody could walk past her without giving her a hug,” Naidoo says.

It’s moments like these that motivated Naidoo to take up further training which put her in good stead to become an Operations Manager. Today, she manages both the cath lab and cardiac theatres at NMCH.

“Being an operations manager, I thought it was necessary for me to educate myself further,” Naidoo said. “So I completed my first honours degree and I am currently studying towards an MBA.”

Naidoo also plays a pivotal role in mentoring and developing the skills of her colleagues.

Mentoring is critical considering NMCH is only one of two dedicated children’s hospitals in South Africa. “Even though treatment is offered at private hospitals, a lot of children who are not on medical aid need specialised care. So there is a gap in the public healthcare sector and I believe NMCH is strategically placed to help close it,” she said. Naidoo calls on people to support NMCH.

“We need to create an awareness around the different ways people can support the hospital,” she says.

“It may not necessarily be financial support, we also have a volunteer programme. People can donate toys, volunteer their time, we even have teachers assisting with children’s education and university students mentoring kids.”

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