As nurse educator, she's also a teacher

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital nurse Nor Syafawati Jummat.
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital nurse Nor Syafawati Jummat.PHOTO: KHOO TECK PUAT HOSPITAL

SINGAPORE - Ms Nor Syafawati Jummat, 38, had wanted to be an English teacher since her secondary school days.

But a stint as an administrative assistant at the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) changed her career path.

Many of her colleagues were former nurses, and they encouraged her to be a nurse.

Ms Syafawati enrolled in Ngee Ann Polytechnic's nursing course, after three years at HSA.

And while she did not become a teacher, her role now as a nurse educator at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) means she trains junior nurses.

Talking to former nurses while at HSA showed her nursing was a meaningful job.

Although some friends and relatives warned her it would be tough, Ms Syafawati had her parents' support.

Her mother had also wanted to become a nurse when she was younger, but for reasons Ms Syafawati is still unsure of, did not go through with it.

Said Ms Syafawati: "She told me nursing is a noble profession, and I should go ahead with it.

"I felt nursing would give me purpose in life, which motivated me to continue."

Treating patients is not the only way Ms Syafawati helps others as a nurse.

Four years ago, she became involved in nursing education with her appointment as clinical instructor at KTPH, later moving up to assistant nurse clinician.

Last month, she was promoted to nurse educator.

Her job now involves training newcomers, and nursing and medical students on attachment. She also develops training materials and curricular.

For Ms Syafawati, this means her journey from an aspiring teacher to a nurse has come full circle.

"Now, I also get to achieve my childhood dream of being a teacher," she said.

"I have never regretted my decision and after 11 years on the job, I still enjoy what I'm doing."