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Mohamed Muhaled Bin Mohamed Wasis

Persuaded by a number of relatives who are nurses, Muhaled made the career switch to healthcare after eight years in the chemical processing industry. “Even before COVID-19 hit Singapore, it was clear that the sector needed more manpower,” he shares. “I really appreciate the support and respect I get from friends; it’s nice to be appreciated.”

As an Operating Theatre Technical Associate, Muhaled’s main duty is the setting up of equipment for various types of procedures. He also helps surgeons and nurses don surgical gowns in the scrub room, and transfers and positions patients from trolley bed onto the operating table.

During Circuit Breaker, only urgent surgeries were performed at SNEC to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission. With the reduced workload, Muhaled’s team was split in two, and they rotated between SNEC and home. “Besides taking product knowledge refresher courses during the work-from-home period, we were tasked with generating ideas, such as how to clean and disinfect the operating theatre more efficiently.” As a father of two, Muhaled was constantly worried about bringing the virus home. As such, even though he did not handle COVID-19 patients directly, he strictly followed safety protocols while in SNEC, such as wearing a mask all the time, sanitising his hands regularly, and using PPE when handling infectious cases.

Now that Phase 2 of the post-circuit breaker reopening has begun, more services and surgeries are gradually resuming in SNEC. Muhaled has gone back to his usual working hours since early June, and is scaling up his workload to pre-COVID-19 levels. He is also supporting the surgical team to clear a backlog of cases. “It’s like mentally preparing myself for battle,” he quips. One of the scars of this battle is the imprint left on his face by the tight N95 mask, which he still constantly wears while at work. He is also adapting to the new normal of safe distancing, and adjusting his routines to live and work safely despite this pandemic.