Friday, 11 February 2022

Fighting the good fight – Natalie Copeling

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Sr. Natalie Copeling MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Sr. Natalie Copeling

An inspiring group of dedicated CPUT staff members has played a crucial role to help ensure the health and safety of the university community during the pandemic. More than 15 000 vaccinations have been administered at the CPUT Vaccination Centre, and our vaccinators have been right at the frontline.

This month we share some of their stories:

Nursing lecturer, Natalie Copeling chose the profession to make a difference in the lives of others and this passion shines through at the Vaccination Centre where she serves the CPUT community.

Copeling has worked at CPUT for 14 years and has been involved with the centre since its inception.

“As an existing member of the CPUT health cluster, I was invited to join a sub-committee of the health cluster and was involved in the conceptualisation and planning of the vaccination centre from the outset,” she said.

Copeling assisted with the coordination of the training for the Department of Nursing Science staff as COVID-19 vaccinators as well as with compiling of a placement schedule for the staff at the centre and floor management of the centre.           

“In a time of uncertainty and turmoil I had certain skills that could be of use and it was a privilege to be able to assist during this time.”

She said nursing is a profession that allows you to be grateful for what you have and provides daily reminders of this when you hear the stories and challenges of others.

“The placement in the centre was a return to practice and engagement with many diverse individuals.”

Copeling thanked Prof Karien Jooste “for her support as my HoD as without that I would not have been able to be as involved as what I was.”

“Also, thanks to my colleagues from the department who worked on a rotational basis at the centre.”

Last year Copeling received two awards from the South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASOHN). 
The first, the Ian Webster gold medal, was for her Master’s degree, which was attained in 2019, and is given to all who complete a Master’s or PHD with an occupational health nursing focus by the society. She also received EXCO rep of the year award which is given to the candidate selected by the president of the society annually.
Copeling is married with two daughters who she says has a passion for all things equestrian.  
“My spare time is spent mostly outdoors with my two daughters and horses.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks