Reach Out

Why I left the ICU to be a palliative nurse

Apr 2015    

When I saw that Methodist Welfare Services was looking for palliative homecare nurses for AMH, I was intrigued by its unusual job scope and the opportunities to reach out to patients with advanced and lifethreatening diseases.

 

Melissa was in a position that many in her line would envy. Her job paid well, provided many learning opportunities and was exciting and challenging.

 

But she chose to give up her job in the Intensive Care Unit in a hospital to work as a palliative homecare staff nurse with Methodist Welfare Services’ Agape Methodist Hospice (Homecare).

 

Hear from her why she made her choice.

 

Every day was hectic – physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting – when I was working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a hospital. It was an excellent learning ground as it provided me with its fair share of excitement with fluid resuscitations, CPRs (CardioPulmonary Resuscitations) and intubations.

But I wanted to move on despite having a comfortable salary at the hospital. I felt I was not being patient-centred but simply being “disease-centred”. There was no time to pause and listen. Even if I could, all I could do was to refer the patient to the doctor or the medical social worker. I seemed to have become a robot through the process as I had lost the human touch.

When I saw that Methodist Welfare Services was looking for palliative homecare nurses for AMH, I was intrigued by its unusual job scope and the opportunities to reach out to patients with advanced and life-threatening diseases. This would allow me to spend as much time as needed with them, to listen wholeheartedly without distractions, and to derive fulfilment by helping others to find as much meaning and relief in their pain as possible.

In my journey of discovering palliative care, I realised I must never neglect two vital ingredients – the skill of listening and the art of understanding. Neglect in either will result in broken communication and connection in the patient-nurse relationship. Another challenge I faced included learning how to help patients find meaning and make sense of what they are going through.

I strive to master the art of guiding patients and their families through the storm and ensuring, as much as possible, a smooth rather than abrupt landing at the end.

It is more than satisfying to be able to meet the needs of those who greatly need our care in their most vulnerable states. Though it is sad for me to see patients pass on, I hope my journey with them would have made a difference in their lives and they may find the peace of God in them.

 

Established in 2007, Agape Methodist Hospice (Homecare) helps the terminally ill live their last days with dignity, and strives to ease their pain through professional palliative homecare service.

 

In the last financial year, our team of doctors, nurses and administrative staff served more than 250 patients with advanced illnesses, making almost 2,500 home visits. Our medical support is 24/7, and we are always ready to offer support for our patients and their families or caregivers.

 

 

MWS is looking for more nurses to serve in AMH as well as our nursing home.

Contact us at hr@mws.org.sg if you are interested in more than just a job, to meet the needs of those who need our care in their most vulnerable states.

REACH OUT

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