Nurses play an integral role as members of the care team to deliver best care of the patients. What they do, impact lives, both inside and outside the hospital. As the complexities of patients' conditions span both health, mental and social, the intricacies of the nurses' role also increase. This is what makes them extraordinary. Tan Li Ping and Pearlyn Ng Rui Ling are two such nurses, both of whom are working in our palliative ward.
Thinking Out of the Box with Tan Li Ping
Ever since Li Ping was young, she was the family caretaker in case anyone got sick. She found joy in helping her loved ones through rough times, and she extends that same enthusiasm in her work.
"My role is not like the usual task and role that is assigned to a nurse. Usually nurses perform routine tasks and work that has been laid down by the doctors and physicians. For me, I was given the opportunity to create a programme by working very closely with other multidisciplinary members such as doctors, pharmacists and dietitians. I was also able to work (through cross-posting) across different settings, wards and communities."
Being subjected to unique cases everyday, Li Ping goes above and beyond for her patients and ensures they remain comfortable and happy throughout their stay at Alexandra Hospital. Like every Alex nurse, she was given the opportunity to create and run programmes and work very closely with other multidisciplinary members such as doctors, pharmacists and dietitians.
"Being a nurse can sometimes be difficult, but as long as you continue to follow your passion, at the end of the day, you'll feel satisfied by the work you've put in and overtime, people will also recognise your hard work and dedication. AH is very new and dynamic and there are a lot of opportunities for nurses to grow."
Pushing Boundaries with Pearlyn Ng Rui Ling
Being a nurse in the palliative ward, Pearlyn deals with patients who have terminal illnesses and have limited treatment options or have chosen a conservative approach in view of quality of life. Unlike general wards that have fast ins and outs, palliative ward patients usually stay longer, giving Pearlyn the opportunity to help them holistically.
"I guess knowing that people here are faced with limited time makes me a bit more patient and tolerant. The team really gets to know the patient and their family as a whole. There are often family conferences to align everyone's expectations and update them on where we are right now in the care cycle."
For Pearlyn, working at Alexandra Hospital has been an enriching and fulfilling experience. With support from her colleagues and superiors, she has gotten a lot of opportunities to grow and get exposure easily, something which is not as easy in a bigger institution.
"To work in a setting like this, you need to have supportive colleagues and superiors and AH has this. AH is relatively open to things like rotation which is beneficial for new nurses. Rotation meaning after working a year in one setting, you can rotate to other areas to get a different experience and learn. This way you are able to see the different aspects of a person's care journey. This way AH provides a lot of opportunities for nurses to grow."