Friday, October 12, 2018

Nurses' Merit Award- Tan Joo Eng, Assistant Nurse Manager, HCA Hospice Care

“They say there is meaning in every job. To me, nursing is my calling as I enjoy looking after people.

I’ve been in Community Care for ten years now, and my interest lies in palliative care. One thing I learned from my nursing experience is that apart from physical care, we must also understand the psychological well-being of our patients and how they cope with their diagnosis. This way, we can better care for them. One of my cherished memories in nursing was taking care of a patient who was battling cancer. Her condition didn’t stop her from learning new skills, and I knew she had a strong fighting spirit. I was by her side to encourage her and be her listening ear.

When her parents travelled from China to Singapore to look after her, I was their support system. I often communicate with them via phone calls, updating on their daughter’s progress. At any time that they had questions, even if it were on my off day, I would still make sure to be there for them. I understand it’s not easy for them to leave their homes to an unfamiliar country, and it’s only right that I extend my helping hand.

After my patient passed on, I continued to assist her parents with legal and administrative matters. After all, they don’t know many people in Singapore. I also wanted to make sure they were able to cope well with the loss of their daughter. They were very appreciative, and I was glad to be of assistance.

It is my honour to receive the Nurses’ Merit Award. This award is a recognition of my small contribution to serving patients and their families facing end-of-life issues. Hospice care in the community is challenging yet rewarding.”

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