The ripple effect

February 2019

My late grandmother suffered from gangrene in her toes when I was only 10. I was distressed seeing her in that predicament because I felt there was nothing I could do to help someone who has loved and cared for me all these years. That feeling of regret stayed with me as I grew up, which eventually prompted my decision to be a nurse and care for others in need.

As a nurse, I have a personal mission. I want to advocate for better health management for my patients, especially those who are diabetic. My role at Woodlands Polyclinic allows me to do so. What makes my job more meaningful is that in addition to caring for my patients’ health, I also get to learn about the psychosocial issues that they encounter in their daily lives.

I believe we can do more to help those in the community. On some of my off days, my colleagues and I participate in public screening events at the Woodlands Community Centre, where the team conducts checks for blood pressure and blood sugar levels for members of the public. Through such events, the public is able to learn the importance of early detection and intervention of health issues, which in turns helps them better manage their health.

In addition to my ‘missy’ hat, I am also a volunteer at Touch Community Services where I participate regularly in their annual Flag Day.

Xin Ru giving health tips to her patient.

Nurses form the bedrock of healthcare, taking on a wide range of duties from the cradle to the grave. We perform a variety of roles across different specialisations, including management of chronic diseases, women’s health, child development, triaging of patients with acute conditions, patient education, research and so much more.

At the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics, nurses are part of a collaborative model of care known as the teamlet care model. Each teamlet has family physicians, care managers (nurses), care coordinators, allied health professionals and other healthcare providers. Our professions may differ, but we share the same end goal: To provide comprehensive, coordinated and continuous care for our patients.

My years as a nurse have been very rewarding. It definitely has its challenges, but seeing my patients take control of their own health conditions keeps me going. I even have patients who now proactively educate their own family members!

I believe that one should never be afraid to ask questions and try out new endeavours. Most importantly, one should never let anyone or anything hinder them from reaching their potential.

My name is Koh Xin Ru, Senior Staff Nurse and Care Manager from Woodlands Polyclinic. I want to create the ‘ripple’ effect in my patients’ lives, and help them change for the better.