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The Nightingale Tales

Behind each question or action by our nurses lies a strong passion and will to serve those in need. We bring you three heartwarming stories shared by our nurses that are centered around three core values – Compassion, Integrity and Collaboration.

(Patients name have been changed)

#1 Compassion: The Unfriendly Patient
Mr Hong was a middle aged man who had been admitted to BVH after undergoing a below-knee amputation due to his diabetic condition. He was known among the care team to be unreceptive and he would often demand for them to do the simplest things for him. Often times, Mr Hong would even raise his voice towards the care team when his requests were not met.

Caring for Mr Hong was one of the most unforgettable experiences for Senior Staff Nurse Jose Domingo Tecson Casiano from BVH. Despite Mr Hong's unfriendly demeanor, Jose continued to patiently care for him and engaged him in small talk.

They would talk about anything under the sun – from food, to hobbies, and about Mr Hong's family.

Through their conversations, Jose found out that Mr Hong was burdened with financial and family issues. Being the sole breadwinner, he was unable to accept his ailment and was gravely concerned about his family's livelihood.

But as the saying goes, patience is a virtue. Overtime, Jose managed to gain Mr Hong's trust and convinced him to be independent – even going as far as teaching him to do his own insulin injection.

It was Jose's compassionate heart and persistence that had changed Mr Hong's outlook about his condition.

"My experience with Mr Hong made me realise that as a nurse, we need to listen to our patients and be attentive to those little cues that can help us to understand them better," said Jose.

#2 Integrity: The Apprehensive Caregivers
Nurse Clinician Chua Chiou Hann from OCH recalled caring for Mr Ali, a patient who had suffered from a stroke that left him paralysed. As a result, Mr Ali required assistance with his basic physical needs such as eating, dressing and showering.

Mr Ali had a wife and daughter, and like many other caregivers, they were apprehensive in being able to provide him with proper care after discharge.

Caring for a loved one strains even the most resilient people, especially to those who are new to being a caregiver. Furthermore, Mr Ali was the head of the household and his family depended very much on him for their livelihood prior to his stroke.

However, tides have turned and Mr Ali's wife and daughter would now have to carry the responsibility in caring for his needs at home. In addition, they were also worried about the costs that they had to bear for Mr Ali's various mobility equipment.

"Recognising that his wife and daughter had difficulty in communicating with Mr Ali's siblings on his care needs, I decided to step in as the middle person to connect all of them and address any concerns they have", said Chiou Hann.

With Chiou Hann's help and through several family conferences, Mr Ali's siblings agreed to render their assistance to his wife and daughter. Chiou Hann also helped to coordinate his care arrangements and conducted caregiver training sessions for his family to help Mr Ali have a smooth transition to home.  

And when it was time for Mr Ali to go home, his family was ready to take on their new roles.

Throughout the whole process, Chiou Hann displayed great professional integrity as she not only followed through with her duties, but went the extra mile to offer Mr Ali and his family the help they needed. 

#3 Collaboration: The Liverpool Fan
"He was a very happy-go-lucky and active man who enjoyed playing soccer. In fact, he was an ardent fan of the Liverpool football team," shared Nurse Clinician Nagavali D/O Letchumanan from SKCH.

That was before Mr Raj suffered from advanced lung cancer.

Due to his terminal illness, Mr Raj became increasingly weak and eventually lost strength over his bilateral lower limbs that caused him to be confined to his bed.

Despite his mobility impairment, Mr Raj expressed his wish to sit on a chair and move around in the cubicle during one of Vali's morning rounds. Mr Raj also added that he felt frustrated and helpless about his current condition.

To fulfil his wish, Vali consulted closely with the medical team to ensure that Mr Raj had adequate pain control prior to any movement, and together with the help from the rehabilitation team, Mr Raj could finally be seated on a geriatric chair safely and wheeled around the cubicle.

Later on, Vali and her team also specially projected a soccer match in Mr Raj's cubicle for him to watch, bringing back to him fond memories of his favourite sport. It cheered Mr Raj up very much  as it was one of his final wishes before his demise.

It was an experience that Vali will remember till this very day.

"No man is an island of his own. It is important for everyone to work as a team for the best interest of our patients and their families," said Vali.