IMH nurses pick up awards for love and compassion towards patients

Ms Suyat Katherine Yun TingVIDEO: CHEW SENG KIM
Ms Antonette Pimentel Asuncion.VIDEO: CHEW SENG KIM
The nurses of ward 62B, which won the Special Commendation Award. They are supervised by Ms Suyat Katherine Yun Ting (first row, third from left).
The nurses of ward 62B, which won the Special Commendation Award. They are supervised by Ms Suyat Katherine Yun Ting (first row, third from left).ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Ms Antonette Pimentel Asuncion, 41, who won the prestigious Nightingale Award.
Ms Antonette Pimentel Asuncion, 41, who won the prestigious Nightingale Award.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - Working in a mental institution is no walk in the park.

Ms Suyat Katherine YunTing, 38, would know. The Nurse Clinician of Ward 62B, the team that won the Special Commendation Award at this year's Institute of Mental Health's Nurses' Day Awards, has been working in the hospital for over 14 years, and has met her fair share of challenges.

She recalls patients who have been difficult, hostile and who need high levels of attention on a regular basis.

And yet, she has never given up.

Now, Ms Suyat leads a team of 15 nurses together with another fellow supervisor in a long-stay, female ward.

While she does sometimes feel tired, she said: "It is very rewarding, to see someone who is dazed and difficult to engage, recover and do normal things for themselves, like even dress or eat or comb their hair. And after that, when you see them in the streets and they come and ask how you are, it really makes it worthwhile."

She said: "I always tell my team to understand their patients as people, (and that) they don't choose to be in their state. If we don't take care of them, who will?"

This year's IMH Nurses' Day Awards saw several teams of nurses recognised for their teamwork and service excellence. This awards day is a Nurses' Day initiative happening across the island. Nurses' Day falls on Aug 1. This is IMH's first year awarding the Special Commendation.

Another recipient of an award this year is Ms Antonette Pimentel Asuncion, 41, who won the prestigious Nightingale Award, an individual prize. She had been working at IMH for over 17 years.