“Persevering despite my family’s objections”
I pursued a Diploma in Nursing back in 2016 despite my family’s disapproval. None of my family members were in the healthcare industry.
“I was told ‘this job is too dirty and tough for you’ and “you will never make it to graduation”. Yet I was intrigued by the local and Korean nursing dramas shown on TV and wanted to experience it for myself.
During my internship as a student nurse, I had trouble communicating effectively with my patients and staff nurses as I was soft spoken and had no confidence in myself. At the same time, my family was so adamant that I would not succeed and made me promise not to take any bonds from the hospitals. Gradually, I told myself nursing might not be suitable for me as no one would hire a nurse who cannot communicate clearly.
However, during my second year of nursing school, my grandparents were hospitalised frequently. Whenever I visited my grandfather in the ward, he would call out to me excitedly and show off to the other nurses that I would become a nurse. My grandmother also consulted me on her medical condition and lifestyle choices to avoid re-hospitalisation. During her stay, I assisted her in using the toilet, as she was afraid to bother the nurses. Eventually, my grandmother admitted she was not worried about me becoming a nurse anymore since she saw how I took care of them and that she would support my decision.
Upon graduation, instead of continuing with nursing, I tried working in the office and got a job at a contact centre. I did not enjoy my job at all as it was meaningless and I missed interacting with people face-to-face. I yearned to do something more with my career.
I resigned after six months and applied to NKF. A few months later, my grandfather passed away due to pneumonia. Without my grandfather as my pillar of support, I questioned myself if I could go through this alone. I decided to persevere knowing that if my grandfather was still alive, he would be proud of me. I remembered when I started working, I was taken aback as most of my patients were twice or thrice my age. I was afraid I was unable to communicate well with them, but my seniors encouraged me and taught me to always greet them with a smile and be respectful all the time. Gradually, I found confidence and love for my job, thanks to my supportive seniors. I can now speak Malay fluently and even picked up the Hokkien dialect, so as to communicate effectively with my patients.
To anyone who has doubts in themselves, your feelings are valid. There are times when we question our passion. However, never doubt our ability to grow and learn. Have faith in yourself and never give up.