Prior to receiving their first COVID-19 patients last year, nurses in Ward 67 were anxious. But Sister Suriana's text messages, infused with her signature warmth and kindness, helped chase their fears away.
“Sister Suriana is the reason I made it through those eight tough, challenging months,” says Senior Staff Nurse Khairun Nnesah as she cast her thoughts back to March last year, when she was deployed to a ward for COVID-19 patients.
“Instructions were changing so fast but Sister ensured that no one was left behind. Every time a new protocol was implemented, she took the time to address all our concerns.”
Khairun Nnesah was among nurses from various wards deployed to Ward 67, which was converted into an isolation facility to care for COVID-19 patients from March to November 2020.
Supervising and banding the motley crew together was Senior Nurse Manager Suriana Bte Sanwasi. She explains, “At huddles and roll calls, I encouraged my nurses to ask questions and share any difficulties they were facing. This was the fastest way to get everyone up-to-speed with the many changes in protocol. More importantly, I wanted to reassure my nurses that these were challenging times and that it was ok to face difficulties at work.”
Khairun Nnesah had more to share. “Sister Suriana never forgot to ask if I was alright. Every day, Sister would check-in to make sure that I was well and able to cope with my duties in this dynamic and demanding ward.”
“At one point, my Ward was just about to admit our first few COVID-19 patients. I was worried and a little bit scared. But Sister Suriana was always present. And her kind messages in our group chats were always, always warm and delightful. That cheered me on.”
It is evident that Suriana, who won the Genuine Care Award recently, sincerely cared for the well-being of her nurses. Because of this, her nurses never felt like they were just another nurse in the ward.
Says Khairun Nnesah, “Everyone likes to know that they mean something to someone. And Sister Suriana made me feel like I matter because she took the time to communicate with every single nurse at Ward 67. Her office was open all the time to anyone. I could walk in if I needed to clarify a doubt or two. She always put aside her pile of work to listen. What more could I ask for when I have a supervisor who is truly genuine?”
Pushing her work aside to lend a listening ear often meant that Suriana had to work later into the night. When asked what motivated her, Suriana simply says, “I believed my nurses deserved my undivided attention when they confided in me. It was also my way of enhancing happiness on the job for them.”
“The real challenge was to remain constantly optimistic in the face of challenging situations. I always see challenges as opportunities instead of difficulties,” says Suriana. Her positive mindset enabled her to sustain such TLC, which required a lot of time and effort - on top of her ward duties and demands from patients - without burning out.
At the same time, “Having the right people around me mattered. My family, supervisors and nurses were - and continue to be - my pillars of strength, supporting and giving me encouragement along the way,” shares Suriana.
Do you have a colleague who genuinely cares for others all the time? It is never too early to nominate her for the 2022 Genuine Care Award here
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