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Interesting lives at work and play

  Sunday, 01 l 08 l 2010 Source:  The Sunday Times   
By: Theresa Tan

Beyond their dedication to the profession, many nurses also find time to pursue their own interests, discovers Theresa Tan

tan tiew YahSupport group advocate
A CHANCE encounter with caring, compassionate nurses inspired Ms Tan Tiew Yah to join the profession.

Now 50, the senior staff nurse has served for 33 years. The mother-of-two says: “I feel it’s my calling to be a nurse. I have learnt a lot about life from my patients and I have never thought of quitting.”

She is with the National Cancer Centre Singapore, where her duties include counselling cancer patients and co-ordinating their treatment.

Her compassion for patients has led her to start a support group for women with cancers of the reproductive system over a decade ago.

She says: “If we could get patients to get to know others with the same condition, they could find support in one another, like one big family.”

Grassroots activist
ng wai mayMS NG Wai May’s idea of service extends beyond her patients.

The 35-year-old nurse clinician at the National Neuroscience Institute spends her after-work hours serving the community.

She is the vice-chairperson in the Admiral Garden women’s executive committee, a member of the Woodlands citizens’ consultative committee and part of the Admiral Garden community club management committee.

She says: “It feels good to be able to do something for others.”

Her grassroots work involves helping to organise activities such as dance clubs and looking into residents’ feedback.

The mother of three children also tries to involve them in grassroots activities.

“My aim is to cultivate in them a sense of volunteerism.”

Chorus singer
siah wai sumAT the Singapore National Eye Centre, you may find staff nurse Siah Wai Sum humming or singing during her breaks.

The 28-year-old grew up listening to her seamstress mum sing while doing her chores, and music has become a part of her DNA.

Last year, Ms Siah – who assists the surgeon in the operating theatre – joined the chorus group at the Singapore Soka Association.

She now spends about four hours a week training her vocals, and has also performed at community events.

“I feel I’m contributing to society when I’m performing with my chorus group. It’s like we are bringing joy to others,” says Ms Siah.

Besides, singing helps her to relieve stress and fills her life with “hope and joy”.

Currency collector
ramahCOLLECTING currency has given much joy to senior enrolled nurse Ramah Prabah.

The 42-year-old works at the National Dental Centre and assists the anaesthetist in the operating theatre, among other duties.

She picked up her hobby from her father. “I was intrigued by my dad’s collection. The colour, design and value of the currencies fascinate me.”

Fifteen years ago, she started her collection with notes from just four countries that her dad gave her.

Today, the mother of two children has amassed dollars and coins from about 40 countries, thanks to friends and relatives who help her to build up her collection.

A nurse for 23 years, she says: “These notes have sentimental value. I feel very happy and relaxed just looking at my collection.”

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