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Not for the Faint of Heart

A selfless profession
For Michell Sim Mei Rou, Staff Nurse at Bright Vision Hospital (BVH), however, the hardest challenge to overcome during the pandemic was not being able to return home and visit her parents in Malaysia. For the entirety of two years (and a bit), Michell had to make do with checking in on her family through video calls and messages of love and support – although, she confesses, the worrying never stopped.

Despite this, Michell has no regrets – "Nursing is not for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of sacrifice and patience. We do not just help save lives, but also bring happiness to the sick, and comfort to those in need. It is rewarding to know that you are making a difference in someone else's life."

Adapt and grow
Michell joined BVH in 2018, working in the Compassion Ward caring for High Fall Risk (HFR) patients. It was a challenge for a female nurse like Michell, as HFR patients could often exhibit aggressive or agitated behaviour such as climbing out of their beds or even attempting to hit the nurses.

The pandemic layered another challenge for Michell and her fellow nurses caring for COVID-19 patients in BVH. Many patients were often unable to understand the various safety protocols and the need for isolation, with some even attempting to leave their ward cubicle.

Finding verbal communication difficult when dressed in full PPE, Michell and her team found other ways to connect with their patients, such as writing notes to each other. For patients with a language barrier, Michell and her team even prepared translation cards with pictures  developed by the Well-being Coordinators. 

The work family
In the face of these challenges, Michell is thankful for the support of the "Kampung Napiri" family. From the beginning, the kampong spirit was apparent when all BVH staff, regardless of department, chipped in to help with the conversion of BVH into a COVID care facility – from moving beds to zone marking and even cleaning equipment!

It is not all work and gloom, Michell shares, with many fond memories spent with her fellow nurses and the BVH family.

Aside from the treats of snacks and drinks from team leads and management, the team also makes sure to check in on each other and encourage self-care. "I remember the time when Nurse Clinician Chee Yan led the whole nursing team in recording a Tik-Tok dance after a long shift – took us a while but we managed to learn all the dance moves together!"

"This to me is the true spirit of the BVH family! We work together, have fun together and we always take care of everyone together. Whatever the future may hold, I know that we will face it – together!"