Thursday, March 05, 2020

From Hospital to Community


Since young, NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies third year student Eddie Hee had a thing for science. When he chose to pursue a diploma in biomedical science, it came as no surprise to most. However, his choice of pursuing a nursing degree did meet with some concerns.

As an only child, Eddie’s doting parents were worried that he would find nursing physically and mentally tough. Despite these worries, they still gave him their full support. This only motivated him to excel so that he could provide better care for them later on in their lives. His decision was also met with scepticism from his friends who asked why he would want to ‘clean other people’s butts’.

A profession with diverse specialty tracks

“Other misconceptions I’ve heard include male nurses not being meticulous and caring… this is on top of nursing being a dirty job. I believe these stem from ignorance and mistaken beliefs. Today, the profession has diversified with many specialty tracks. In fact, there are numerous opportunities for self-growth and empowerment,” Eddie shared.

“With the ageing population and the Ministry of Health’s shift from hospital to community, I decided to take on the Community Nursing Scholarship to help patients recover comfortably at their homes. Besides providing financial support throughout my studies, my scholarship journey has also allowed me to volunteer and participate in team-building camps. I even got to attend language classes… this is really useful when I become a full-fledged nurse.

A sunrise sector in the making

Community nurses work independently as they help patients age comfortably in their homes, making decisions as well as educating patients and caregivers on proper care. Given that Singapore has an ageing population, community nursing is a sunrise sector!”

To Eddie, he is heartened to know the difference nursing can make in somebody else’s life; from something minor like changing their diapers so that they feel more comfortable, being a listening ear during the low points of their lives, to making life-saving decisions by noticing signs of deterioration. Nursing is an important career that is in high demand globally. In the local context, nursing is often referred to as having an ‘iron rice bowl’.

For those considering nursing, here is his advice: If you don’t want to be deskbound, have a heart for others and want to be able to care for your friends and family members without relying on Google, nursing may just be the right career for you!

To make a difference in the community like Eddie, visit for more information.

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