Forum: Empathetic gesture made a difference after jab

I took my 10-year-old daughter for her second dose of Covid-19 vaccination at Toa Payoh West Community Club on Monday.

After checking in, we were led to a cubicle. At that moment, we could hear a woman trying to soothe a crying boy in the next cubicle.

We were led to the observation area after the jab, and we sat right behind the woman and her child. The boy was around six or seven, and continued to cry during the observation period. He wanted to leave the place. His mother did everything she could to pacify him - she hugged him, gave him a snack and let him watch a cartoon on her phone.

One staff member walked out of his cubicle and told the boy sternly: "Stop, you have to stop right now. You are making a scene here. We have patients here for observation." The boy kept crying and asking to leave.

I was shocked that a staff member made such a comment at a paediatric facility. The boy probably couldn't help himself from making a scene.

One young staff member then quickly walked over, lowered himself to the eye level of the mother and son, and gently suggested that if the place was stressing the boy out, he could lead them to the playground outside the exit to wait out the 30-minute observation period there, and that he would call them back when the time was up.

What the second staff member did was commendable. He approached the matter with a little empathy, and that was exactly what was called for in this situation.

Kristy Man

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