1) What inspired you to be a nurse?
My grandmother worked as a nurse her whole life for about 35 years until retirement. She is always kind and caring and she is my inspiration.
Being a nurse is a calling, there is clinical knowledge and there is a lot of soft skills involved, being caring and compassionate.
In 2019, we were thrust into a Covid-19 pandemic and being a nurse will be the best use of my skills to serve the community.
2) What have been the biggest challenges for you as nurse during the global pandemic?
The biggest challenges is keeping safe during this pandemic. Wearing a N95 mask and PPE is hot and uncomfortable, but this is required to keep me safe for myself, my patients and my family.
3) How do you juggle your time, your job and all your other commitments?
I work very hard. I am always on my feet and multi-tasking.
I thank my colleagues, my team and my family for their support and guidance.
Taking care of the community is important to me and I make time for it.
I make an effort to fill my life with what is important to me and what is meaningful to me.
4) As a Dunearn NC volunteer, you gave out care packs to vulnerable members of our community. What was the process like and what were your biggest challenges giving out the care packs?
It was a team effort, everybody playing a part to contribute to this giving project. Singaporeans are very kind and it is this kindness that binds us altogether.
By giving out carepacks, it is our small way of showing the community that we care for them and that we are there for them.
This project involved many community partners ,grassroots volunteers , social workers , family , friends , neighbours , donors , People’s Association , Majurity Trust , Temasek Trust and National Youth Council . It was most challenging to work with so many different people however I am grateful for these challenges that turn into lessons and lessons that turn out to be blessings. I learnt a lot and I get to work with a great team and make new friends.
To date, we have given out 200 care packs to the community and this is a continuing project.
5) What do you hope to achieve with Reminiscence Art Therapy?
Reminiscence Art Therapy improves self-esteem and provides older patients with a sense of fulfilment and comfort as they look back at their lives.
Reminiscence therapy uses all the senses — sight, touch, taste, smell and sound — to help individuals with dementia remember past events, people and places.
4 reminiscence therapy activities
1. Listen to their favourite music. Music helps people reminisce and relate to emotions and past experiences.
2. Look at photos, keepsakes, or magazines
3. Smell familiar scents and taste favourite foods.
4. Enjoy tactile activities like painting, pottery, or other crafts.
In fact, Art therapy is for everyone in the community. Art Therapy promotes good mental wellness. This COVID-19 pandemic is hard for everyone because of the social isolation, the anxiety and we need to take care of our mental wellness. It is ok to not be ok.
6) What advice would you give to others who want to start their own volunteer initiatives?
Just do it, be kind, smile, make a difference. No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.
I take inspiration from this quote: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time.” Mother Theresa.
7) Being on the ground, what are some needs in the community you hope can be met?
I feel strongly about food security. For needy families, we give out carepacks of essential groceries to them and hope that this helps in some small way. However, I feel that this is a stop-gap measure. We need jobs so that we can feed our family. We need affordable childcare so that mothers can work and support the family. It takes a village to raise a child and so we need to take care of one another.
8) If you could do/change anything about Singapore or your life, what would you do?
I will change the education system. PSLE and exams do not define you.
We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.
Each child should be valued and loved.
9. What does thriving mean to you?
Loving and caring for one another.
Happiness is serving the weakest in our community. Do all the good you can, to all the people you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you can.