SINGAPORE: A total of 54 healthcare workers have been honoured at this year's Healthcare Humanity Awards for their efforts in improving patient care and going beyond their call of duty.
The awards are organised by the Courage Fund, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Courage Fund was launched in 2003 to raise money for relief to SARS victims and healthcare workers.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam presented the awards to the recipients who were handpicked from 21 hospitals and institutions in Singapore.
Ng Wan Ru left corporate life 12 years ago to provide nursing care to cancer patients at the Singapore General Hospital. She later joined HCA Hospice care as a palliative homecare nurse.
Her calling to be a nurse came after both her parents were diagnosed with the life-threatening disease cancer.
Ms Ng said: "I can still remember how lost we were when we knew our mother was diagnosed with cancer. So when I started my career as a nurse, I somehow felt that this was the group of patients that I really want to care for them and walk this journey with them.
"Having a life-limiting disease, be it cancer or end stage renal failure, is not easy and to be there to walk this journey with them is a privilege because we are there to support them, to listen to their story and help them to live life to the fullest - and not to help them to die."
But nursing presents its own set of challenges.
Ms Ng added, "There are times we can get emotionally drained as we can be emotionally attached to our patients and their families. So when the patient passes on, sometimes, we as nurses feel the need to grieve."
Another recipient of the award is senior staff nurse Singaravelan Pavadai.
His award is especially poignant because he offered psychological support to patients and staff during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
He has been working with mental illness patients for over 20 years.
"I was trained in the army and I was an armoured tank commander. I was telling myself if there's a fight or war, I will go and support our nation. At the same time, SARS was like a war, the healthcare industry was having a war. And I was telling myself that I will give myself," he said.
The Healthcare Humanity Awards is a continuing legacy of the Courageous Awards which were originally given out in 2003 to the healthcare heroes of SARS.
So far, some 460 healthcare workers have received the awards in recognition of their efforts. - CNA/de
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