What is a typical day for you?
I work closely with the palliative care physicians and the community hospice team over the management of patients. Together with the attending physicians and multi-disciplinary team, I assess, plan, implement and evaluate the patients’ care to meet their physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs.
A typical day consists of a brief team discussion about the patients. I will assess the physical symptoms and attend to the psychosocial needs of patients and families. I also conduct palliative education for my team of nurses
It is heart-wrenching to witness parents who leave their young children behind when they pass on. I feel heartened that I am able to help control my patients’ pain and symptoms and improve their quality of life.
Tell us more about palliative care.
In palliative care, we focus on aggressive symptom control, psychosocial and spiritual support for the patient and their families. These responsibilities require me to build good rapport with them. As a stranger, it is my privilege that they are willing to share with me their struggles and lives. This allows me to know the patients and journey with them during the last phase of their lives. We also have opportunities to assist patients to fulfil their last wishes.
The memories of a loved one in his /her last days often stay with the family for a long time. Hence, when providing palliative care, we focus on aggressive symptom control, psychosocial and spiritual support for the patients and their families. These responsibilities require me to build good rapport with them. As a ‘stranger’, it is my privilege that they are willing to share with me their struggles and lives.
They say nurses are our everyday heroes. What personality trait do you feel makes you most like an everyday hero?
Sensitivity to the emotions of others is an important trait to have. I have received help from others when I was emotionally hurt. I am motivated to do the same for others who are in distress even if it may mean sacrificing my personal time.