Caring for sick parents spurs them to care for patients

Ms Sylvia Jani (at left), an enrolled nurse at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, won the third prize of the Tan Chin Tuan Nursing Award while Ms Nasah Sohor (right), a principal enrolled nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), came in first. She also won t
Ms Sylvia Jani (at left), an enrolled nurse at Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, won the third prize of the Tan Chin Tuan Nursing Award while Ms Nasah Sohor (right), a principal enrolled nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), came in first. She also won the challenge trophy that will remain with SGH until the awards next year.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Duo are among 10 enrolled nurses honoured for their contributions

When she was just 11 years old, Ms Nasah Sohor's father died in his sleep of a heart condition.

Having taken care of him alongside her mother for six months, the entire experience left a deep impression on her.

"I gained a passion for nursing because of that experience. I wanted to take care of other people," said Ms Nasah, now a 53-year-old principal enrolled nurse.

In her 30 years at the Singapore General Hospital's (SGH) department of emergency medicine, Ms Nasah has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help patients.

"When an elderly patient had a fractured arm, I went to her home to teach her how to take care of the fracture and how to change the dressing," she said.

MORE THAN JUST A JOB

I treat them like my own family. So when they pass away, I feel like part of me is also gone.

MS SYLVIA JANI, on how much her patients mean to her.

Her work also inspired her eldest daughter, 26, to become a staff nurse at SGH.

On Tuesday, Ms Nasah won the first prize of the Tan Chin Tuan Nursing Award, the highest accolade for enrolled nurses here.

She received a challenge trophy, a gold medallion and a $3,500 cash prize to be used for training.

Nine other enrolled nurses also received awards.

The nearly 9,000 enrolled nurses here support registered nurses, assessing and monitoring patients' conditions, carrying out treatment as well as educating patients and caregivers.

Enrolled nurses can become registered nurses by obtaining a nursing diploma from Nanyang Polytechnic or Ngee Ann Polytechnic, or a degree in nursing.

Third prize winner Sylvia Jani has been with Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital for more than 40 years.

Like Ms Nasah, she was moved by caring for her dying mother to become a nurse, going against her father's wishes.

"Most of the patients don't have relatives who visit them... I treat them like my own family. So when they pass away, I feel like part of me is also gone," she said.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor presented the awards at the National University of Singapore Society Kent Ridge Guild House on Tuesday.

The Tan Chin Tuan Nursing Award was set up in memory of the late banker and philanthropist Tan Chin Tuan 10 years ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Caring for sick parents spurs them to care for patients'. Print Edition | Subscribe