Nurses like Joey Tyoh are at the front lines of patient care, empowering patients with knowledge while refining her abilities.
Becoming a nurse is not the end goal, but the beginning to a world of possibilities.
A nurse may choose to go into one of many medical specialties in the acute and chronic settings in the hospitals. These include oncology, medical surgical, acute and emergency, geriatric, pediatric, palliative, intensive care unit nursing.
There are even further distinctions within those, such as community health care and primary health care nursing. And career-wise, one can be a nurse manager, nurse clinician, InfoTech nurse, nurse researcher or advance practitioner nurse.
Joey Tyoh, Healthcare Merit Award recipient and nurse at National University Polyclinics (NUP), is taking her first steps into this variegated field.
She discovered her passion after a rewarding stint during her Community Involvement Programme in polytechnic. Volunteering at a nursing home, she was inspired by the nurses who worked tirelessly to help their patients' healing. And she herself felt fulfilled when she saw even her small contributions, such as helping to feed the elderly, make someone's day more comfortable.
Her interest in nursing was piqued when she came across a booth on Nursing at the Healthcare Scholarships Fair organised by MOHH. “After getting to know what the roles of the nurses are and hearing the inspiring stories from them, I became deeply interested in nursing and decided to go for it!”
“It is a calling, as cliché as it sounds,” she laughed.
Once she decided on nursing, she applied for MOHH's Healthcare Merit Award, believing in the opportunities it would give her. MOHH recognised her dedication and awarded her the scholarship.
“Each allied health and medical professional has their role to play in the society in terms of healthcare, and I can foresee that the future generations will make a huge impact in the healthcare sector due to medical advancements and the ageing population.” Joey Tyoh
Joey did not view nursing as an end goal but the start to more specialised patient care.
She proudly shared about her training as a Care Manager, an opportunity afforded only to those who exhibited exceptional ability and interest in that particular field. “My main responsibilities involve empowering patients with the knowledge of the various chronic illnesses that they are currently experiencing and to teach them how to manage the diseases at their level,” she explained.
“My role includes managing the patient holistically, from their illnesses to their socioeconomic status, which I find it meaningful and rewarding in my aspect.”
This is a far cry from the typical perception of a nurse as someone who only works in the hospital setting. And there is still more in store for Joey, who recognises the importance of research alongside practice.
“I also have my secondary responsibility, where I am part of the research team in NUP, working on various topics with my fellow colleagues. I am grateful for the research knowledge taught at school that has helped me apply what I have learnt to my current work.”
Joey is currently learning to play the Kalimba, which is a thumb piano.
Speaking of her educational background, Joey recalled her Bachelor of Science (Nursing) (Honours) at National University of Singapore. The degree provided her with theoretical knowledge and writing practice, as well as internships to various hospitals.
“What I had learnt during my University days was not in vain as I am able to apply the medical knowledge, the experiences gained from my various internships into my current work, especially now that I am blessed with the opportunity to be a Care Manager,” she elaborated.
However, work “on the ground” required a different skillset. Joey found that no textbook was able to teach her how to interact with patients, so she began to adapt her practice on the fly to suit the new environment. “Being a fresh graduate, there is bound to be a steep learning curve to overcome at a real working environment, be it the patients, the many opportunities and mistakes made.”
“At my workplace, I have to learn how to interact with my patients on a personal level and I also have the opportunities for the many invaluable trainings.”
As she continues to pursue excellence in her field, she is grateful to be working at NUHS. After all, it is a place of learning and collaboration where she can bloom best.
She happily described: “NUHS is always ready to take up challenges. With the recent COVID-19, I am proud to say that everyone was eager to do their part as front liners amidst the pandemic. Additionally, we were well-prepared for our recent system upgrade, which made for a smooth and successful transition.”
In light of the current pandemic, healthcare professionals have never been more vital. Joey hopes that more will answer the call as she did and enter healthcare.
“Each allied health and medical professional has their role to play in society, and I can foresee future generations making a huge impact in the healthcare sector due to medical advancements and the ageing population.”
Hence, she recommends healthcare as a career for “those looking to have a direct influence on the lives of patients. Joey concluded: “With a passion in empowering others, you will touch the lives of people and also carve out a fulfilling career where job satisfaction is in the service itself!”
This article was first published in BrightSparks Magazine February 2021. Republished with permission from CareerBuilder Singapore.