While working in the same field is a wonderful bonus, this father and son duo are clear that they chose nursing to help others.

Even though he spent more than 35 years in a fulfilling nursing career, he never thought his son should follow in his footsteps.

Like many doting parents, Albert Lew, Assistant Nurse Clinician, National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), was unsure if his son could withstand the pressures and demands of the job.

So when his firstborn, Melvin, said that he wanted to be a nurse, Albert and his wife, who is also a trained nurse, tried to dissuade him and suggested other professions like engineering.

But Melvin was not swayed. He asked a key question that got his father’s blessing to go ahead: “If you can do it, why can’t I?

Albert said: “My wife and I realised we were being overprotective and decided to fully support him. We knew he had what it takes to be a good nurse.”

A family of nurses

In 2015, Melvin was sponsored by NHCS to pursue a nursing degree at the National University of Singapore. After graduating 10 months ago, Melvin, 25, is now a Staff Nurse looking after heart patients in the High Dependency Unit. Patients here need more intensive observation, treatment and nursing care than those in a general ward.

“I love caring for my patients, and it is a joy to see them recover and get discharged,” he said.

This caring nature has always bonded the Lew family. “I grew up listening to my parents talk about their work and experiences as nurses. They have been my inspiration and mentors.”

Melvin’s younger brother, Marcus, who is currently serving as a medic in national service, is also keen to join nursing. “We might have a family of nurses!” said Albert.

The Lews are often approached by relatives and friends for medical advice. “We’re happy to help,” said Albert. “And if they need specialist care, since we know, we can point them in the right direction.”