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Things get better and better

  Sunday, 01 l 08 l 2010 Source:  The Sunday Times   
By: Mary Lim

Three veteran nurses tell Mary Lim how their profession has evolved through the years.

maliniGood career opportunities
Malini Krishnan, senior nurse manager, SingHealth Polyclinics – Geylang

EVEN after more than 30 years in nursing, Ms Malini Krishnan still describes her job as “very challenging” and “a joy”. At the SingHealth Polyclinic in Geylang, she leads a group of 30 nurses to ensure smooth daily operations every day.

“In the past, job scope was task-oriented, and our responsibility was to follow up with doctors’ instructions,” she says “With more opportunities for education, however, nurses have become more involved in the patient care management process.”

One area is in self-care counselling, where they advise and guide patients on dietary changes and monitoring blood pressure, among others. Nurses therefore must possess critical thinking skills, Ms Krishnan points out.

This has made it necessary for constant learning. In addition to her nursing certification and degree, she has also enhanced her skills with various courses
in midwifery, community nursing and even leadership.

“Expanding our knowledge gives me more confidence, because patients will trust us more. This, in turn, increases job satisfaction and performance.”

diana simComfortable, nice uniform
Diana Sim, senior staff nurse, National Dental Centre

A UNIFORM conveys authority and garners trust. For Ms Diana Sim, a comfortable uniform allows her to perform tasks quickly and efficiently.

“When I started out, the uniform was white and came with a cap. I’d have to get it starched so it stayed in shape throughout my shift,” recalls Ms who has chalked up 25 years experience.

She especially appreciates that nurses' feedback was sought for the current uniform worn by nurses under the SingHealth Group, introduced in 2007. Incidentally, this was also her favourite out of several options presented then.

Says Ms Sim: “I like the milky white colour because it is warmer and friendlier.
I also found the design more practical and comfortable. So it is easier to walk and complete our tasks more efficiently.”

lim mein cheeProper work-life balance
Lim Mein Chee, deputy director of nursing, Singapore National Eye Centre

YEARS ago, becoming a nurse nearly required one to live like a nun. As a child, that was Ms Lim Mein Chee’s perception of the profession. “Nobody wanted to be a nurse. You had to be very dedicated, because the hours and work were very demanding. So it was difficult to take leave and you almost couldn’t go home,” she recalls.

But Ms Lim not only got married she also started a family and managed to pursue her career. Now aged 56 with two grown-up children, she attributes it to strong family support, particularly from her husband, a chartered accountant.

She says: “He was very understanding. If I had shift duties, he would spend time with the kids.”
She is heartened that nurses now enjoy better work-life balance, thanks to changing mindsets.

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