Angels behind the scenes

November 2018

A team of nurses toil tirelessly behind the scenes of drama serial You Can Be An Angel 3 to ensure that nursing is presented in an accurate light. We speak to four nurse consultants from the team, who share interesting anecdotes from the filming process, as well as their favourite character from the drama!

Joey Wan
Staff Nurse
Changi General Hospital

"During the shoot, the director wanted a shot of blood being drawn from a patient's arm. We couldn't replicate that on a mannequin, so I had to draw blood from the actor who played the patient. Even though I had done the procedure countless times as a nurse, it felt so nerve-racking doing it in front of a camera! Looking back, it was a really interesting experience.

Wang Ruo Jun (portrayed by Zoe Tay) is my favourite character! As a veteran in the field, she is understanding, compassionate and kind. As an actress, Zoe's professionalism really amazed me. She had no airs and consulted me on a scene where she had to teach a patient several exercises as well as the correct way to use a walking aid. She said she wanted to ensure that her actions truly reflect those of a community care nurse and represent nursing accurately to the public."

Ng Qiwen
Senior Staff Nurse
National University Hospital

"My experience on set was really interesting – I held an impromptu health screening and education session onsite for the production crew! Initially, I was actually just assisting the crew on a scene where a patient was plagued with a worsened leg ulcer due to poorly controlled blood sugar.

As I was teaching the actors and crew the signs and symptoms of diabetes, many more questions on prevention, complications and management of the disease came along. At the end of the scene, the director actually requested a check on her blood pressure and blood sugar, and the rest of the crew followed suit! One crew member was discovered to have elevated blood pressure and I counselled him on his condition. Initially reluctant to see the doctor due to time constraints, he eventually did so and later started on medication. Knowing that I have helped improve someone's health through this experience was very heartening, and made it memorable for me.

Carrie Wong's character, Jin Si Yan, is my favourite character because her nursing journey is most similar to mine. Si Yan is a home care nurse who joined community nursing pretty early into her career. For myself, it was just one year into ward nursing when I decided to join community care as I believe that many health problems (followed by admissions) can be prevented with a better supported community care."

Lau Meng Er
Assistant Nurse Clinician
Ng Teng Fong General Hospital

"What impressed me most during filming was the actors' determination to perfect their roles. One scene I remember fondly was a traffic accident which required Zoe Tay and Pierre Png to perform CPR and AED on a casualty. In between retakes, both of them took the time and effort to continuously clarify their actions with me. They shared that they wanted to achieve a realistic portrayal of nursing onscreen so that the public would know what the profession really is like. Despite the many retakes, Zoe and Pierre remained calm and listened to my corrections attentively. I was really amazed by their professionalism!

I admire Senior Nurse Manager Wang Ruo Jun, who is portrayed by Zoe Tay in the drama. She is an excellent role model who was able to transition seamlessly to her new role as a leader in the community care team. I feel that the underlying message here is that our duty as healthcare providers is important regardless of where we are placed."

Pauline Tan
Senior Nurse Manager
Yishun Community Hospital

"The most amusing thing during filming was how our reel-life angels struggled with medical jargon in Mandarin! I would burst out in laughter whenever they made mistakes and had to reshoot the scenes.

There was also a scene where Advanced Practice Nurse Yuan Bin, played by Pierre Png, had to educate his junior nurses on stoma management. As his voice wasn’t recorded, we had a good laugh listening to him rattle on about his made-up theories on stoma care!

My favourite character in the drama is probably Sister Wong (played by Zoe Tay). As an ardent fan of the You Can Be An Angel series, I have followed her progress – both in terms of her love life and professional life – from season one till now. Her character arc in the drama is quite the rollercoaster!