“My parents proudly share with their friends and colleagues that I’m a nurse and the one who taught them how to wear a surgical mask correctly!”

This strong family support gives Assistant Nurse Clinician (ANC) Rosnita Binte Ismail a peace of mind and motivation so that she can carry out her nursing duties confidently amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “My family is worried about me but they know my work is important to keep our loved ones and Singaporeans safe.”

ANC Rosnita is part of the dedicated team at Ward 56A caring for patients with Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI). Patients isolated at the ARI ward may require to undergo swab tests for COVID-19 upon assessment by the doctor.  

ANC Rosita, who had been through SARS in 2003, knows exactly how it feels like to be in the thick of things, “Back then during SARS outbreak, I was assigned to take care of patients with respiratory symptoms in the isolation room. I was scared, uncertain and unprepared but as the resource person for my team, I had to pull myself together to help resolve problems.”

Fast forward 17 years, ANC Rosnita feels that we are now more well-prepared to handle this outbreak, “I constantly update my team on the latest routine instructions and also share what I experienced from SARS. This would help to build confidence in the teams handling ARI cases.”

The first encounter

Recalling her first encounter with a patient in his 50s who was isolated due to a phlegmy cough and fever, “He looked worried and afraid. What I could do then was to regularly update him on his treatment plan and to reassure him with an occasional gentle tap on his shoulder. These were simple ways to allay his fears. ”

“When I broke the good news that his swab tests were negative and the doctor has ordered the decision to de-isolate him, his entire face lit up,” ANC Rosnita said. “Seeing his expression of relief certainly made me feel that what I am doing is meaningful.”

A daily routine now

Almost two months into the outbreak, the team at Ward 56A has now gotten used to the tighter routine, “Ensuring strict adherence to infection control measures and staying extra vigilant is now just part and parcel of our work.”

Ward 56A nurses do their best for patients in the isolation ward  
Despite heightened measures to be taken in view of the risks they might face, the team at Ward 56A continues to do their best for patients isolated at the ward.

“Without the great teamwork at Ward 56A, it’s impossible to sail the rocky boat alone. As the saying by Helen Keller goes - Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much,” ANC Rosnita shared.

Constant support

It is the love and support from her family, nursing leaders and members of the public that keep her strong in what seems like a long-drawn fight against COVID-19, “At the end of a long day, I love coming back to my family and looking forward to my hubby’s back massages!”

ANC Rosnita is pictured here in yellow, with her closest and dearest (first from left: Rosnita’s husband, Mr Faisal Bin Ali).

When the going gets tough, ANC Rosnita finds strength from her tight knitted family to continue caring for patients who need her most in this trying time.