It was not an easy decision to leave a cushy job in the banking industry during the early years of my professional career. However, I yearned to do more. I had a deep-seated desire to help others and make a tangible difference in their lives. Taking the plunge in 2006, I joined Ren Ci Community Hospital and was awarded the Community Care Manpower Development Award to pursue the Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Gerontology) in Nanyang Polytechnic. I have never looked back since.
Nursing proved to be the answer; I was able to touch my patients' lives in a way that gives me immense satisfaction and fulfilment. Believe me, even the simplest of acts can make the biggest difference. I recall caring for a dementia patient who was suffering from functional decline. On top of that, he was quite weak and fell often. He lost the motivation to live but under the team’s care, he began taking steps forward again – both physically and metaphorically. With constant encouragement and support from the team, his confidence grew and his health improved. After 6 weeks, he was finally discharged! His family were impressed by his tremendous improvement and wrote me a compliment letter. Little acts of appreciation like this motivate me to continue doing what I do, but seeing my patients walk out of the hospital healthy is the ultimate gift.
A typical day of work begins at 6.30am when I arrive at the hospital. The team usually has a briefing at 7am where we update each other about our patients’ latest conditions and treatments. After the briefing, my colleagues and I will then proceed to do our ward rounds.
Our goal is for patients to regain their independence and move back into the community. To prepare our patients, we provide health education, draw up medication plans as well as assist patients with their activities of daily living e.g. eating, showering and dressing. We also provide art and music therapy, as well as group play activities such as bingo, mahjong and games to improve the patients' quality of life at the hospital.
I work together with other allied health professionals – such as dietitians and medical social workers – to reduce patients' need for clinical treatment by improving their physical and cognitive health. The ideas and knowledge shared with one another is invaluable. Outside of work, my job equips me with skills to care for my elderly parents, both of whom suffer from chronic diseases.
I am Ren Ci Community Hospital Staff Nurse Django Satria Bin Naim, and I am proud of what I do every day.