the 14 SGH winners of the MOH Nurses Merit Awards for a colourful range of
different shades of nursing.
By Michelle Choh, Muhammad Zulhelmy Bin Zaiman, Teo Kian Nguan, Adele Tan, Michelle Scully
Assistant Nurse Clinician Khairulazmi Bin Iswahyudi, Ward 75 (Orthopaedic & Hand)
“I remember about 10 years ago, at the time of discharge in the morning, my patient’s medication was not ready. So I offered to send it to her home. However, I was only able to send the medication in the evening as I was on the morning shift. When I reached the patient’s home, I thought I was going to get a scolding from her son for the delayed delivery but to my surprise he was apologetic and very thankful that I had volunteered to send his mother’s medicine over. He also expressed his gratitude to the team for the excellent care his mother had received. I felt refreshed and the tiredness that I was feeling just melted away. That was my most memorable moment.”
Nurse Clinician Muhammad Hafiz Bin Hadi, Ward 63C (Geriatrics)
“After hearing stories from my sister-in-law, when I was 17 years old, about her clinical experiences, I was intrigued and it piqued my interest in the nursing profession. Nursing has enriched my life - I gleaned many life lessons listening to the stories of my geriatric patients - and of course, meeting my wife here is an absolute bonus.”
Assistant Nurse Clinician Chu Xinxin, Ward 55B (Urology & ENT)
“I did my internship at SGH during my second year in Polytechnic. A patient collapsed in my ward and I didn’t know what to do. I did not even know how to activate Code Blue and had to ask the nurses for help. After the incident, I called my sister, who was a nurse in China. I was crying but my sister kept reassuring me that it was ok and that calmed me down. Through that experience, I learnt the importance of swift response in saving someone’s life. Something that I still remember and practise today.”
Nurse Clinician Ho Soo Ling, Emergency Medicine
“When we receive a call from SCDF at the Emergency Department, you know something serious happened, like a road traffic accident or a fire. I sometimes receive up to three or four emergency calls during a 12-hour shift. The most recent case that left a deep impression on me was an industrial fire, where eight people were sent to SGH. Most of them had severe burns, and were in so much pain that they could not even talk,” recalled Soo Ling. “I felt really sorry for them as I knew their outcomes were bleak and the road to recovery would be a long and painful one.”
Nurse Clinician Suriani Binte Muhamed Ishak, Ward 52B (Neurosurgery)
“I had to push the bodies of patients who had passed on from COVID-19 into a room with a glass window for family members to bid farewell as they could not come into direct contact with their loved ones. It was heart wrenching,” said Suriani Muhamed Ishak, as she recollects her days working in SGH’s isolation ward at the height of the pandemic. This protocol was just one of many items on a checklist for COVID-19 death procedures that Suriani helped develop. It included detailed safety measures such as the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment while performing last offices.
Assistant Nurse Clinician Yeap Mee Lee, Specialist Outpatient Clinic H
"I have a patient who pops by to say 'Hi' every time he comes for his check up. I first met him 10 years ago. He had a below-the-knee amputation but didn't look at his wound as he was in denial. Hence, his wound was not healing well. On his fourth visit, I counselled him and managed to get him to look after his wound, which then healed well," shared Mee Lee, who works at SOC Clinic 'H' that treats orthopaedic conditions including bone, muscle and joint problems.
Senior Nurse Manager Tan Hui Fen, Operating Theatres
“My first organ procurement was traumatic and intimidating as it was the first time I had ever seen an organ outside of the human body. But I chose to continue specialising in transplant nursing because I am able to give hope to the patient. It has also enabled me to appreciate how the end of something is the beginning of another,” says Hui Fen. Her area of expertise is abdominal organ transplant nursing, which entails dissecting and obtaining the organ that has been matched. “Intrigued by human biology and anatomy, I decided to join the Major Operating Theatres after graduation.”
Nurse Clinician Ong Shihui, Ward 43 (Burns Operating Theatre)
“Nursing was actually my last choice at Nanyang Polytechnic because I had haemophobia. I was actually given Biochemistry but I opted for Nursing as I couldn’t see myself sitting at a laboratory bench for the rest of my life,” reveals Shihui who works with a team of surgeons and anaesthetists at SGH Major Operating Theatre and Burns Operating Theatre to excise and graft skin for patients with burns injuries. Not bad for someone who had a fear of blood.
Nurse Clinician Ng Kai Lee, Pre-Operative Services
When asked what makes being a nurse special, Kai Lee jokes, “I enjoy being the ‘resident consultant’ in the family for prescription advice since it makes me feel important.” With two young daughters at home, she makes it a point to avoid doing anything work-related and instead spend quality time with them. Reveals Kai Lee, “I rarely stayed long in one place of employment because I believe that change is the only constant. But I have been serving at SGH for 16 years and counting because I appreciate the work-life balance, continuous improvements and learning opportunities here.”
Nurse Clinician Zhang Lei, Specialist Outpatient Clinic
"Do you know that if you walked to/through all the SOC Clinics on Campus, you would have covered 10,000 steps? This is because SOC has expanded all over SGH Campus - from Block 3, 4, 5 and 7 to DMC at Bowyer Block to level 3 and 4 of SingHealth Tower," shares Zhang Lei, who oversees the day-to-day administration, including staffing, of the SOC Clinics at Block 3, Level 1 and Basement.
Nurse Clinician Krismaine Ng, Specialty Nursing
“Women today often hold multiple roles with various demands. They end up prioritising others before themselves. I have seen some patients who delay treatment because they are just too busy and think their tumour is not serious because there is no pain – which is a misconception. That’s why as Breast Care Nurses, we are so passionate about education and advocating regular screening,” said Krismaine who wanted to take this chance to educate on the biggest misconception about breast cancer.
Assistant Nurse Clinician Zhang Xiao, Ward 72 (Haematology Centre)
“One day, some Thalassemia patients complained that the hospital’s disposable tourniquet was very uncomfortable while having their blood drawn. I purchased reusable tourniquets for each patient, personalizing them with their names marked on them. In order to make the patients feel more at ease, I frequently make dumplings for them when they come for their appointments. Because I treat them like family, a group of young Thalassemia patients even call me ‘mother’," says Zhang Xiao. An active nurse volunteer in-charge of SGH Thalassemia Patient Support Group since 2014, she provides emotional support to her patients and families diagnosed with Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder.
Nurse Clinician Audrey Seet, Ward 54 (High Dependancy Nursery)
“The death of a baby is emotional in the neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It’s perfectly normal to cry with the parents because I have been caring for their child. It’s hard as many of us are mothers, too. However, I have to be strong so the parents can feel my strength and find comfort in my support. I console the parents and help them deal with their grief by journeying with them and creating unique memory boxes to remember their babies who have passed on.”
Nurse Clinician Gladys Chong, Ward 42 (Renal Medicine)
“I remember most vividly a patient who required a lot of care for the blisters, skin peelings and painful erosions all over her body. She would scold us and scream in pain whenever we turned and changed her. It was a really difficult time for her and her family. After months of dedicated nursing care, her skin gradually healed and her pain subsided. She started looking forward to chatting and joking with us. Eventually, when she recovered and was discharged, her family was extremely grateful for our care. Helping patients and their families overcome a challenging period by working collaboratively with my team gives me a great sense of fulfilment. A simple thank you is all it takes to motivate me to continue giving my best every day.”
Scan the QR Code to watch our Nurses’ Merit Award winners on SGH TikTok