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Putting patients first

Senior staff nurse Cindy Chan, 27, is working towards her career goal of being an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN). This would require her to
possess clinical acumen and high-level decision-making skills to diagnose and manage patients’ common medical conditions such as chronic illnesses.

Ms Chan’s efforts reflect how the demands of the nursing profession continue to evolve, and it has become necessary for nurses to be equipped with broad-based skill sets they can practise across different care settings. In the long term, she would be collaborating withpatients and other healthcare practitioners to redesign healthcare for the future.

Ms Chan says: “With our ageing population, healthcare demands will increase. However, as with many countries, we are also having a shortage of
nurses. Therefore, nurses in this new millennium need to be adaptable and versatile to cope with the rapidly changing healthcare environment.

“For instance, the nurse’s role is redesigned to take on greater complexity such as being an APN or the use of technology to utilise resources more effectively.”

On track for success
This year, she completed her Advanced Nursing Course (Nephrology) at National University Hospital (NUH), where she works to care for patients with kidney diseases.

Her job responsibilities include administering medication, going on ward rounds with doctors to assist with the diagnosis and treatment of patients’
conditions and coordinating the care of inpatients during their hospitalisation.

On top of ensuring patients’ basic needs are met and treatment plans are carried out in a timely manner, she also mentors new nurses and nursing students.

Selecting a career
Ms Chan had her first glimpse of nursing as a career when she worked as an executive assistant at NUH after her A levels.

As a 19-year-old then, she was inspired by how nurses gained satisfaction from their jobs.

Her mentor there, senior nurse manager Hui Soh Heng, eventually convinced her to join nursing as a career after delineating its pros and cons to her.

Subsequently, Ms Chan was awarded the Healthcare Merit Scholarship, which covered her tuition fees, other mandatory miscellaneous fees, training allowances and a one-time uniform reimbursement.

Since her graduation with a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) with Honours from the National University of Singapore in 2015, she has been serving her bond, which will end this year.

Ms Chan says: “Nursing is a profession that requires a great amount of patience and compassion. Nurses care for patients who are sick and unwell, and when these patients eventually recover, we share their joy when they leave the hospital.

“It is satisfying to feel that I made a difference in someone else’s life.”