​"It was 1981 and my second night duty in SGH's A&E unit.  As I was going around, an elderly Chinese man approached me and asked for the location of the toilet.  I gestured to the patient toilets on the right and saw him walk hurriedly in that direction. 

After I completed what I was doing, I turned to retrace my steps, just in time to see the old man coming out of the fire hose closet!  When I asked him, the old man pointed to the sign on the door with the image of a nozzle spray.  I could barely hold back my laughter.  I then realised that the patient was illiterate.  I should have been clearer in my communication.

This incident always brings a smile each time I look back to my nursing days.  As nurses, we can definitely benefit from a healthy repertoire of coping mechanisms, and humour often works best."

Lim Fong Chee
Deputy Director, Nursing
Singapore General Hospital


Tags: Nurse