Lee Siew Ling, Nurse Clinician (Patient Navigator - COPD), RHS - Office for Intergrated Care, SGH
Having worked at the respiratory ward
at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for almost 11 years, Siew Ling noticed
that most patients had little knowledge regarding their chronic diseases
especially after their discharge. In 2015, she decided to take on the role of
Patient Navigator to work closely with patients, empowering them with self-care
skills to help transit them safely from hospital to home. She believes this switch
in role is key in igniting her passion in patient education.
“Understanding their sickness is
critical in preventing high hospital readmission for patients,” she declared.
“We want patients to realise that falling sick is not a scary thing if they manage
it well, and we are with them throughout the whole journey.”
Siew Ling recalled the day she
visited the home of a patient who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease (COPD) three days after he was discharged. She was shocked to find that
he had not been using his inhalers and his spacer was still intact in the box!
Siew Ling and her colleague wasted no time explaining his condition to the
patient again. Even though the patient claimed to have understood them, Siew
Ling took the opportunity to enlist the help of his flatmate to assist him with
his inhalers. At the next respiratory consultation, she was happy to find that
the patient had become more confident and competent in his handling of the
inhalers, and was also less breathless.
Siew Ling knows that she cannot rest
on her laurels. “With the fast ageing population, nurses have to upgrade our
professional credentials to be able to meet and fulfill their healthcare
needs,” she said. One of her best learning experiences was a two-day exchange
with the respiratory case managers at Changi General Hospital (CGH), organised
by the SingHealth Duke-NUS Lung Centre in 2019. She observed how the CGH
respiratory case managers screened and conducted COPD counselling, and learnt
how telecare services were arranged by the Health Management Unit at CGH.
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your inbox