Having seen first-hand how some patients struggle to pay for medical costs, these nurses decided to go the extra mile to ensure patients can focus on their recovery.
Simon Ong Teck Leong
Senior Nurse Manager, Changi General Hospital (CGH)
The idea of becoming a nurse came from Simon Ong’s Singapore Armed Forces medical officer-in-charge, Dr Goh.
A medic during his national service days, Simon’s care of his fellow soldiers, and guidance of junior medics caught Dr Goh’s eye. Dr Goh gave him the confidence and the encouragement to pursue nursing as a profession. “He even asked his wife, who was a registered nurse, to guide me if I needed help with my nursing studies. Because of his support, I took on the challenge and became a nurse in 1987.”
Throughout his years in his profession, Simon has met many patients in his ward, including friends and colleagues, who struggled with bearing the financial burden of treatment. “A long-time colleague was hospitalised and, after her discharge, she chose to retire due to her health condition. I later found out that she also had to take care of her elderly spouse who was wheelchair-bound. Thankfully, she was able to get assistance from CGH’s HomeCare Assist (HCA) fund, which supports patients’ recovery at home after discharge from hospital.”
Simon contributes towards the HCA fund so that he can do his part to help patients who are in a similar situation. “Any amount you give can help someone in need. Whatever little help we can give, when combined together, can make a difference in the lives of our patients!”
Nurse Clinician, Sengkang General Hospital (SKH)
When Biyin joined SKH in 2015, she was moved to support the SKH Needy Patient’s Fund. Since then, her support has not wavered.
Through her regular contributions, Biyin hopes to support the hospital in expanding its scope of services and to help alleviate patients’ needs beyond their hospital stay. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the livelihoods of many, she has also witnessed first hand, the difficulties some patients face with the cost of treatment. With the help of donors like Biyin, the hospital is able to extend financial support to patients, where necessary, so patients do not need to delay treatment.
To Biyin, helping someone in need is a calling, and in return, she feels rich in the heart. “Any contribution within a person’s means can brighten the future of a patient in need. By making one donation, it makes two people happy. It is about how we help each other and build a gracious community together,” she said.
Ms Wong Yoke Hui
Nurse Clinician, SKH
Yoke Hui has been giving to the SKH Needy Patients Fund since 2017.
During her course of work, Yoke Hui has had to manage patients with complex wounds, requiring advanced wound dressing technology that can be quite costly. Some of these patients would opt for cheaper treatment options due to financial constraints, and this sometimes prolonged their healing process. “Having to deal with their existing illnesses and worrying about their financial burden takes a toll on many patients,” she said.
Through her regular contributions, Yoke Hui hopes she can do her part to ease the burden on patients and make a difference in their lives. “I strongly believe in ‘sedikit-sedikit lama-lama jadi bukit’ – a little bit goes a long way!”
Khin Sandar Oo
Senior Staff Nurse, National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS)
When Sandar was young, she often helped her grandmother with daily activities such as feeding her meals and helping with the washing. Thus, going the extra mile to care for someone comes as second nature to her. Having been with NHCS for the past eight years, Sandar takes care of patients who have just undergone surgery to ensure that they are recovering well before they are transferred to step-down care.
Apart from the satisfaction she gets when patients smile at her or thank her for her care, Sandar is a regular donor to NHCS’ Heart To Heart Fund. This Fund supports patients in need, medical research and medical education.
“Patients’ families often feel stressed when their loved ones are hospitalised and the possible financial burden after their discharge. By giving to the Heart To Heart Fund, I know I can do my part to help these needy families. To quote Helen Keller, ‘alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’.”
Nurse Clinician, National Neuroscience Institute (NNI)
A chance conversation with the nurse taking care of her mother in hospital led young Joanne Lee to realise that nursing was something that she wanted to do. “I want to make a difference and touch lives. It’s a calling,” she recalls.
Joanne is now a Nurse Clinician with NNI, and looks after post-surgery patients. “It has been about 10 years since I joined NNI, and that same passion still drives me to do what I do every day.”
Outside of nursing, Joanne meets many people from all walks of life through volunteering. “When I hear about how they give back to society, I’m inspired to do what I can to help others too. I give to the NNI Fund, which goes towards transforming the lives of persons with neurological conditions. It is a way for me to give back to the community I know and love. A little act of kindness at the right moment can brighten someone’s day.”
Nurse Clinician, NNI
At NNI, Nurse Clinician Esther Chua not only cares for patients under her charge. She also runs rehabilitation programmes, mentors junior nurses, and is also part of a clinician research study team. Though work can be hectic because of the many hats she wears, the patients and caregivers that come through her clinic are her source of strength and motivation to be a better nurse clinician.
“My patients and caregivers always come through for me to remind me that the work I do is both worthwhile and meaningful. Just the other day, when I didn’t think one of my patients with dementia would remember me, she ran up to me and gave me a big hug!”
Sister Esther regularly donates to the NNI Fund. “Most of our patients require long-term care. Some struggle to get the best care for their loved ones because of financial difficulty or limited funding from the community. So if I can do my part to help a family, why not? A little help goes a long way. When you give sincerely and from the bottom of your heart, no amount is too small.”
This Nurses’ Day, we celebrate selflessness and generosity of spirit shared by our nurses. To read more stories of nurses who go beyond their call of duty to support patients, click here.