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Ong Chu Ting

As an operating theatre staff nurse at SNEC for about two years, one of Ong Chu Ting’s main duties is assisting surgeons in the operating theatre. But when COVID-19 arrived on our shores, she recently volunteered to be deployed in the A&E department of SGH as part of our team of medical professionals who have stepped up to contain the virus.

“For the whole of my first day there, I mostly stayed out of the way to observe, initiating help to the staff where it was needed. There was a quick tour of the A&E department on Day 2; everything else was learnt on the job!” At SGH, Chu Ting’s daily routine includes carrying out doctors’ orders, such as giving IV drips and injections, and dispensing medicine; providing patient care, such as taking vital signs regularly and helping non-ambulant patients move around; and admin protocols, such as admission and discharge procedures and assigning of beds.

Although her friends and family continuously worry about her health and safety, Chu Ting reveals that they are enormously supportive of her joining the national effort to fight COVID-19. Many of them send her care packages containing lots of vitamin C, as well as encouraging messages via photos, cards and WhatsApp. She stresses that safety protocols are well established and scrupulously followed by every staff.

While Chu Ting admits that being on the frontline can be tiring, “I focus on carrying out my tasks to provide patient care; I don’t mull on the fact that I’m a frontliner or on the risks I face”. However, she is energised when her colleagues show her little gestures of appreciation, such as a pat on the shoulder or a nod of acknowledgement. Paying those gestures forward, she has this message for fellow frontline workers: “You are stronger than you think!”