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My little nursing dream


2009 was a trying year for the family. My dad had been involved in a road traffic accident, and it was painful watching the head of the family struggle with the simplest of movements and become totally dependent on others for his daily activities. I felt helpless.

My dad had to visit the hospital for several operations during this period. Each time I stepped into the ward, I could see the nurses going about their work and caring for each patient to the best of their abilities. Even though I was not in direct contact with the nurses, their passion and heart for the patients made an impact on me. I wanted to make a difference and help people get better too!

After my dad was discharged from the hospital, the whole family pitched in and we took turns caring for him at home. I was surprised to find that tasks such as changing his urine bottle, preparing medications and doing motion exercises came as second nature to me – even at the tender age of 15. The first aid skills I learnt as a St John cadet in secondary school also helped. This set me thinking about nursing as a career.

My parents were very supportive when I told about my aspiration. This was a great boost to my confidence! It also helped that my mum has been a senior patient service associate at Singapore General Hospital for more than a decade. Aware of the importance of nurses in the healthcare system, she encouraged me to pursue my passion.

Darshini (left) at her clinical attachment.

I began my nursing journey with a Nitec in nursing at the Institute of Technical Education College East, and have just graduated from Nanyang Polytechnic with a diploma in nursing. Now, I look forward to starting work as a registered nurse at Sengkang General Hospital.

Fun fact: My mum always says that there is no need for us to ask for any sort of medical help – even in the face of an emergency – because there is a nurse at home. My nursing instincts kick in whenever someone in the family falls sick, and I am constantly watching their dietary intakes like a hawk (laughs).

Some days, I come home tired or discouraged from the challenges I face at work. However, my mum has been a constant pillar of support; acting as my listening ear and encouraging me to persevere. Besides my mum, my dad and siblings are also always there to give me advice whenever I stumble. I am immensely thankful for the strong support system at home.

This Mother’s Day, I have a little message for my mum.

“Hi Mummy,

Thank you for being so supportive of my nursing journey. You’ve always been proud of my profession and never shied away from proclaiming to others that your daughter is a nurse. You know what? I have not regretted my decision to join nursing either.

You and dad have always told me that it’s okay not to follow the crowd and to pursue my own dreams. What matters most is doing what I love, as well as learning from daily challenges. For this, I’m grateful. Thank you for the love you’ve shown me.”

To all mothers who have inspired your kids just like my mum, I wish you all a heartiest Mother’s Day!

Dharshini Parmasivam