I want to be just like Mummy

May 2018

"Mummy, I’m so proud of you. You go to the homes of the elderly and ensure they are well. You help them, care for them and are a voice for them. I want to be just like you and be a nurse when I grow up!"

My children had grown up listening to stories about my job as a nurse; the work I do, the patients I visit and the interesting issues I encounter. I had never realised the impact of my stories until one day, when my daughter came up to me and told me that she aspires to be a nurse too. This revelation had me beaming with pride. My stories were nothing extraordinary – but not to my little Faith. She would take my stories to school and proudly share them with her friends and teachers.

My name is Mok Foong Yue, a Clinic Manager of the Mobile Clinic under Tsao Foundation and this is my story.

I did not even realise it then, but my journey in community nursing began when I decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing about ten years ago. Back then, I only wanted to build up my nursing expertise by furthering my studies. However, the course opened my eyes to the importance of community nursing and I have never turned back since.

Community care comes into play after a patient is discharged from a general hospital and returns home for rehabilitation. To safeguard the well-being of these patients, I conduct home visits to see how they are managing at home. With my trusty bag of basic medical equipment, I check on their diet, conduct thorough assessments of their general health and teach their caregivers a trick or two about patient care. I also survey their homes and ensure that the patients are recuperating in a safe environment.

My relationship with my patients is not simply transactional. As a home care nurse, I am an advocate for both their physical and emotional well-being. One case I remember vividly was Madam L, who was an elderly woman living alone. Although she was eligible for home care, she was extremely suspicious of us and rejected our help. The home care team did not give up and it took months for us to eventually build a trusting relationship with her. When she was on the verge of passing on in the hospital, we spoke up for her and ensured that we fulfilled her wishes of not using feeding tubes. She eventually passed away peacefully in the hospital.

Being a nurse also helps with my mummy duties – I am more confident in taking care of my children. As a mother of four, I will be proud if any of my children follow my footsteps. As of now, only my daughter Faith seems interested. If she embarks on this journey, I have utter faith that it will be just as gratifying as mine.

No word can sufficiently relay the satisfaction I feel as a community care nurse. Join me and find out why.