Ms Loh Jiar Lin, 25, is a senior staff nurse at the Medical & Neurology High Dependency Unit in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Apart from direct patient care, she also teaches and mentors junior nursing staff who join her unit.

Ms Loh discovered her calling when her grandfather fell sick and was admitted to the hospital multiple times. “I was heartbroken when I saw him struggling with his illness and I felt helpless. I lacked the knowledge and skills to make him more comfortable,” she recalls. “This struck a chord with me and made me pursue a healthcare-related course after I finished secondary school.”

She moved to Singapore from Malaysia in 2012 to pursue her nursing diploma, and, in 2019, furthered her studies at Singapore Institute of Management (SIM), where she earned a Bachelor of Nursing (Post-Registration), awarded by The University of Sydney, Australia.

Something she found particularly useful in her SIM course was learning physical examination skills. She says: “I am now confident in my patient assessment and am able to pick up subtle changes in my patient’s condition and highlight it to the medical team for early intervention. This is an invaluable skill that has equipped me to be a better nurse today.”  

She sees herself providing “compassionate and competent bedside care” to her patients in the long run. She remembers caring for a bedbound patient who needed help to get to a commode (mobile toilet). The patient thanked her profusely.  “The simple act of helping the patient may be insignificant in the eyes of others, but to my patient who was ill, being able to relieve herself naturally meant retaining her dignity and reducing her reliance on others,” Ms Loh says.

Her advice to aspiring nurses? “Nursing is never an easy job. One should have a positive attitude and be resilient. And always have compassion for the people you care for.”