As a nurse educator with more than 20 years of nursing experience, Wenjing nurtures nurses to deliver meaningful care to patients. Her work involves planning the curriculum for nurses and nursing students, providing guidance to them on the ground, and supporting fellow educators in their teaching journey.
When COVID-19 hit, changes to teaching systems didn't just apply to schools, but hospitals too. Wenjing well remembers the challenges in those early days of the pandemic. "We had to adapt very quickly. With all these restrictions, we had to come up with creative ways to keep the students engaged through the use of virtual learning applications and games. Because everyone was called on to help out during the pandemic, we also had to customise teaching sessions and condense them into bite-sized videos to enable effective learning within a short period of time." Despite all these curveballs, what has kept Wenjing going strong is remembering why she got into teaching.
"My first years as a junior nurse were pretty challenging, especially since I joined ICU during the SARS outbreak," Wenjing shares. "I became a Nurse Educator so that I could help ease new nurses' transition into nursing and share with them what I've learned about nursing over the years!"
One unforgettable lesson came in the form of a young patient, whose leg was run over by a car. He had been admitted to the ICU, where Wenjing was a nurse then. The surgeon shared that an amputation was needed and everyone was offering suggestions and opinions on what to do next.
Suddenly, the patient asked everyone in the room to leave, save for Wenjing. For the next thirty minutes, he reflected and shared about his life, as well as his concerns over the amputation as Wenjing listened. Finally, he told Wenjing that he wanted to proceed with the operation and thanked her for being there while he made this difficult decision.
"I realised then, that nursing is not just about practical knowledge or making reasonable clinical decisions – it's about being there for your patients in their greatest hour of need. At the end of the day, our patients are people, who struggle with the same ups, downs, pains and joys that we do. The experience taught me to listen, give patients the space to share their own voices – and I want to help shape the new generation of nurses to know this too!"