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Arumugam Kalyrani

Senior Enrolled Operating Theatre Nurse Arumugam Kalyrani, better known as Kala, is a 25-year veteran of SNEC. “My job in the OT is to circulate and help the anaesthetist,” she explains. While friends and relatives support her calling to be a nurse, they have been expressing serious concerns for her ever since COVID-19 appeared in Singapore. And these concerns have grown louder after Kala recently volunteered to be deployed at the Singapore Expo, which is now serving as an isolation facility for COVID-19 patients. 

Kala fully appreciates the sentiments of loved ones, and assures them that full PPE is available to her anytime it is called for. Besides helpful teammates, she is also thankful for a caring management that regularly updates them on the changing COVID-19 situation as well as the evolving best practices that frontline healthcare workers need to follow. “What I find most challenging is familiarising myself with the constantly changing measures to curb the progress of the COVID-19 virus.” 

But before her deployment at the Singapore Expo, Kala had already stepped up her game, although in an unusual way: unprompted, she opened her home to a few Malaysian colleagues residing in Johor Bahru when their country’s lockdown prevented them from making the daily commute across the Causeway. 

“When the lockdown was announced, I saw them agonising whether to remain in Singapore or head back to Johor Bahru,” Kala shares. “But securing accommodation in Singapore means that they won’t be able to make ends meet.” Since she lives alone and has room to spare, she decided to let them stay with her until travel restrictions are lifted. She even foots the grocery bills. “As colleagues, we should help one another, especially in times of need,” she affirms.