Featuring Sister Siew Peng, Recipient of Nurses' Merit Award 2020
Meet the newly-minted Nurses’ Merit Award (NMA) 2020 recipient, Senior Nurse Clinician Tan Siew Peng! In this story, Sister Siew Peng shares with us why she became a nurse and her nursing journey so far.
The NMA started in 1976 and is awarded to nurses who have displayed noteworthy and exceptional performance, participated in professional development, and contributed to raising the nursing profession. Nurses are nominated for the award by their healthcare institutions and selected by a panel set up by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Congratulations on receiving this year’s Nurses’ Merit Award! How do you feel about receiving this honour?
I am very surprised and honoured to receive the award. I am still very “young” with Woodlands Health Campus (WHC), having been with the family for two years. So I am very thankful for the opportunity.
Tell us about your work in WHC.
I am responsible for building up the nursing manpower in the specialist outpatient clinics for our future campus. When I joined WHC, there was only one SOC nurse – me. So, I started working with HR to strengthen our hiring and training of new nurses to be ready when we have a home.
I also believe in nurturing young nurses to be leaders in their own right. With an open culture and willingness to try, every nurse can contribute in their own way. This is what I envision our nurses to be.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, I have been deployed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) to support our nurses. After that, I spent slightly over a week at the Community Care Facility (CCF) at D’Resort and after that, I was posted to the CCF @ Expo to care for COVID-19 patients. As the situation stabilises, I have returned to my work at Yishun Community Hospital (YCH) to continue supporting our team here.
What inspired you to choose nursing as a career?
In Secondary Three, I was asked to write an essay about my career aspiration. I decided then to be a nurse, because I believe that nursing helps to fulfil my wish to help and care for patients.
In your twenty-two years of nursing experience, is there a notable moment in your career?
Yes, and there are so many of them. One of them that still touches me today was an oncology patient whom I attended to briefly many years ago. I was working in the clinic and merely arranged a room for him to rest because he looked tired. Months later, I was deployed to another clinic and his daughters came to me with a bouquet of flowers, thanking me for what I did for their late father. I was very moved because I didn’t think my small action would matter so much to the patient and his family.
Many things have changed since the pandemic, how do you keep yourself motivated and what encouragement do you have for our colleagues?
It’s inevitable to face challenges and obstacles along the way. So I always keep myself motivated through positive thinking and remaining focused. I like to share the same with my colleagues and let’s continue to work hand in hand, together!