From her quiet and reserved demeanor, it may be impossible to tell at first glance that Carol works as a Senior Nurse Clinician at the Emergency Department, where the healthcare team has to make quick, clinically sound judgments to ensure patients receive timely care. But for Carol, she has never once considered working elsewhere. "We see different medical conditions every day. There is never a boring day, because healthcare and nursing are ever-evolving – there is always something new to learn!"
As a Senior Nurse Clinician, Carol guides new nurses and oversees the development of their clinical skills and knowledge. In preparation for the opening of the future Woodlands Health Campus, Carol also acts as a 'buddy' to junior colleagues, training them to be able to run critical areas in the ED such as the resuscitation and triage areas independently.
It's the people that has kept Carol going strong in nursing. "When you have a good team to work with, you'll enjoy the work a lot more. Over the years, our team has been rotating to the various hospitals to learn more about how their EDs operate to prepare for the future campus. We had to learn, unlearn and relearn different processes and workflows, which is not always the easiest! But having the support of the team and knowing that everyone is in the same boat, working towards the same goal, has been a great help."
It's also encounters with patients that remind Carol of why she joined healthcare. Carol shares about a patient she crossed paths with as a junior nurse, who had come into the ED with his wife, and was suffering from intense chest pains. After investigation, he was discovered to have a tear in his aorta and the team began making arrangements for an immediate thoracic surgery. However, his condition started declining sharply all of a sudden. The doctor had to do open heart surgery on the spot, but unfortunately, the patient passed away in the end.
"I still remember the patient's wife crying when the doctor broke the news to her. Just ten minutes ago, she had still been talking to him. The next moment, he was gone. It really hit me then, that life is so short. It made me want to give my best to my patients as a nurse, but also to treasure the times I have with my loved ones."