The President’s Award for Nurses is the highest accolade in the nursing profession. This national award is given in recognition of nurses who have made significant contributions to the profession and the community, while also displaying outstanding competency, leadership qualities, and innovation capabilities. They are also dedicated to nurturing young nurses and committed in contributing their professional expertise in the community.
Our heartiest congratulations to Ms Patricia Yong, Deputy Director, Nursing, SGH and Dr Alice Chua, Assistant Director, Nursing (APN), NCCS - our SingHealth recipients of the President's Award for Nurses 2020!
Ms Patricia YongDeputy Director, NursingSingapore General Hospital
Patricia is an outstanding nurse leader and earmarked to be the Nursing Lead of the 500-bed Elective Care Centre in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) campus.
Patricia is a strong advocate for high standards of nursing care and believes in empowering nurses to give their best with the right skills and training exposure. As the co-chairperson of the SGH Campus ICU Committee, she plans and executes ICU expansion while maintaining the quality and safety of intensive care in SGH. To cross-train ICU nurses, Patricia started rotating nurses quarterly from Intermediate Care Area (ICA) and High Dependency (HD) units to ICUs, and among the various ICUs. This strategy proved to be very useful when planning for the COVID-19 ICU surge, as competent ICU nurses could be deployed across ICUs in times of need.
As the Disease Outbreak nursing lead for the hospital, Patricia was involved in the COVID-19 operations and planning which includes manpower, and work flows for ICU and emergency department. She also oversees her team of ICU nurses managing the COVID-19 ICU patients. Based on her experience from SARS, Patricia emphasises the importance of being vigilant in upholding a high level of infection prevention practices.
One of Patricia's key contributions was the implementation of a new Code Blue system for a more rapid and effective resuscitation effort. This involved a multi-disciplinary Code Blue team consisting of a respiratory therapist, ICU nurse and doctor.
Upon realising that there was a knowledge and skills gap in tracheostomy care, Patricia also led a team of nurses to come up with a standard guideline, kit and reference charts. Ward champions were trained to conduct training and drive competency for tracheostomy amongst nurses, leading to a significant improvement in the overall care of tracheostomy patients.
Other than being a nursing lead and an active member of various committees, Patricia also actively volunteers in various local community services since 2000. She believes in giving her talents and effort to help less privileged residents in the community and to patients.
Dr Alice ChuaAssistant Director, Nursing (Advanced Practice Nurse)National Cancer Centre Singapore
Alice is a dynamic clinical leader who specialises in Oncology Nursing and has been with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) since 2008. In 2019, she obtained the Doctor of Nursing Practice from Duke University, School of Nursing. She is currently the Nursing Lead at the Allied Health Professional Clinic at SingHealth Duke-NUS Head and Neck Centre, a one-stop clinic that is built around the needs of the patient and focuses on reducing post-operative complications and length of stay.
Alice often goes beyond the call of nursing duties to ensure that her patients receive the highest standard of personalised care. For example, when she noticed her head and neck cancer patients often faced difficulty speaking post-surgery, she generously used the money from her SingHealth nursing award to purchase portable electronic writing communication tools (Boogie Boards) for their use. Alice also took the initiative to work with the Speech Therapist to source for more effective and less costly communication aids. Once, while on a personal trip to Taiwan, she took the time to meet the developer of a pneumatic speaking valve to explore its use for patients in Singapore. This was later tested and approved by the Health Sciences Authority for patients’ use.
Alice also plays an active role in training and mentoring future nurse leaders. As the first NCCS APN lead, Alice has mentored six NCCS APN interns into full-fledged APNs. She also serves on the SingHealth APN development committee. In 2018, Alice was appointed Deputy Director of the Nursing Allied Health Education Unit (Division of Cancer Education), where she helps to develop a NCCS Oncology Care Programme for nursing and allied health professionals.
Alice also contributes to the professional development of nursing through research projects and presentations at conferences. She has led six research studies as the Principal Investigator and serves as a member of the NCCS Nursing Research Committee.
Alice advocates for nurses to constantly review their practices with evidence based support and promotes continual education to meet the evolving healthcare needs of patients in the new generation. She embraces opportunities to lead and contribute to the nursing profession. She believes there has never been a more exhilarating time to be a nurse than now.
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