Life lessons from my patients

June 2018

I love sharing my stories from work and my two sons, aged eight and 11, are the perfect audience! I like to think that apart from being a form of entertainment, I’m also imparting important life lessons and values to them. When I asked my 11-year-old, Ethan, about my profession, he said this:

"Daddy, I am proud that you are a nurse. Although you come back late sometimes, you always work hard and spend time to take care of the elderly!"

Raymond with his sons during a family outing.

In 2002, I joined Alexandra Hospital where I spent eight years in both gerontology and emergency departments. However, after a decade, I decided to try my hand at something new – I ran an F&B business! The business was fun and taught me more about dollars and cents, but I could not forget the connections and relationships I had forged with my patients while I was a nurse.

Even though I do get to build relationships with my business partners and customers while running my business, they were all transactional and short-lived. I missed the profound relationships I had with my patients, who shared their life stories and wisdom freely. That satisfaction from nursing was not something you can easily find elsewhere.

Hence, I returned to nursing in 2012 and have been working at Pearl’s Hill Care Home since 2016. Some people may ask, “Why work in a nursing home?” I feel that geriatric care is often overlooked – and I want to play a part in caring for seniors.

Most of the residents at the nursing home are the nation’s pioneers and are entering their golden age. As they grow older, their cognitive ability might degenerate, causing behavioural changes. Sometimes, they cannot understand what is communicated to them. Yet, I love interacting and learning from them as they have a wealth of experience. At the nursing home, other than taking care of the residents, I have also learnt to understand their family dynamics and manage their family members.

One of my most poignant memories in geriatric care was a 75-year-old female resident who adored singing. She calls me “kor kor” (big brother in Chinese) and holds my hands affectionately whenever she sees me. Unfortunately, she passed away last year at our home. I was heartbroken upon hearing the news. The nursing home had not only lost a resident, but also a songbird who brought joy to all in the home.

I am Raymond Fun, Senior Nurse Manager at Pearl’s Hill Care Home. It is often hard to accept the passing of a resident. However, I am heartened that I have played a part in alleviating their suffering at the nursing home.