Honouring Healthcare Heroes This Merdeka

Caring for a Nation: Commemorating Healthcare Heroes This Merdeka

This Merdeka month, we put spotlights on four healthcare heroes who have been nurturing the nation’s health and unity.

by Homage team

Merdeka 2023

During this Merdeka month, we want to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of caregivers and nurses who have been on the frontlines caring for our nation. 

With the National Day and Malaysia Day 2023’s theme being Malaysia Madani: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan this year, which translates to ‘Civil Malaysia: Determined Unity, Fulfilling Hope’, we interviewed 4 of our Care Pros who embody the spirit of independence through their selfless service and dedication. This article sheds light on their stories, challenges, and aspirations as healthcare professionals in Malaysia.

Merdeka Month is a time of celebration. Can you share a moment in your caregiving or nursing journey that you’re particularly proud of? How did this experience reaffirm your commitment to your profession?

homage care pro muhammad syahrul merdeka feature

Muhammad Syahrul: “The most memorable moment as a caregiver in my nursing journey was during the Covid-19 pandemic. I was involved in the frontline and I’m immensely proud that everyone around me fought hard together for the country in putting the spread of the virus to an end. Other than that, it was also during the time when my father had a stroke, I was glad that I was able to take care of my father (because of my nursing background and experience).”

Ally: “Being a caregiver, personally to me, I try to care and attend to my patients the best that I can which includes cheering them up. My proudest moment would be when I see my patients smiling and laughing, happy with the attention I provided to their daily activities and (amused) at my cold jokes as well. Seeing my patients happy makes me feel a sense of fulfillment and gratitude that they’re comfortable under my care. That’s when I know I’m on the right path of caregiving.”

Indra: “I am proud to be able to care for patients of different races, ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds, particularly a Malay uncle. At the age of 93, he is still mentally young and active. He loves sharing with me stories of the pre-independence days and how the nation has evolved. He has gone through life seeing different prime ministers being sworn in. Though faced with hardships in both his job and personal life, he is content with his journey. His life stories, though often repeated, always bless my heart and my purview on life. He also reminds me of my late father whom I sadly did not get to send off due to working overseas. Maybe that is why I am so attached to this uncle to fill the guilt that I have.”

Nur Shahida: “I am very happy to be a Malaysian where I am able to care for people of multiracials and ethnicities. No matter their background, I am equally proud when those under my care are able to recover from having challenges with their mobility to being able to walk again. Furthermore, I got a lot of good responses from their family on the care I provide. That is something I am very proud of.”

Merdeka Month is also a time to celebrate unity and diversity. Throughout your journey with Homage, can you share instances where your compassion and care bridged cultural gaps while providing care?

Muhammad Syahrul: “For me, everyone has a different race and religion, so as a healthcare professional, I need to be able to tolerate the cultural differences. I have learnt to always create a win-win situation in my caregiving journey.”

Ally: “In a country of multiracial customs and cultures, there were times when I cared for patients of a different race. To be honest, some appeared to be quite uncomfortable at first, which is understandable especially when some elderly people are more conservative. I would get to know and understand their cultures and respect them without any debate or judgment. There were instances where my patients required me to help walk them to their prayer area. Upon reaching, I would make sure they’re safely seated and give them space to perform their prayer while I waited at a comfortable distance for both of us.” 

homage care pro indradharshini merdeka feature

Indra: “I remember assisting a Malay elderly lady for Wudu. At that time during my duty, my thought was only one – I am a caretaker, not a Hindu. Her family really appreciates my help and we are still in touch now.”

homage care pro nur shahida merdeka feature

Nur Shahida: “As a healthcare professional in Malaysia, I am able to care for and bond with patients of different races. I don’t choose what race to treat because we are all connected under the same roof. Regardless of the cultural differences, my patients still believe in my assistance and treatment for them.”

How do you encourage young individuals to pursue careers in caregiving/nursing? What advice would you give to those aspiring to follow in your footsteps?

Muhammad Syahrul: “In my opinion, a career in caregiving or nursing requires a lot of patience and passion. I would advise them to first study about the career pathway and what it entails so that they are prepared on what to expect while pursuing this career.”

homage care pro beh ai ling merdeka feature

Ally: “Do not be afraid or worried that you do not know how to care for a stranger. All caregivers will be well-trained physically, mentally, and emotionally. Just imagine that you’re taking care of your own parents or family members; I’m sure you would want them to be happy and well too. The demand for caregivers and nurses is on the rise everywhere, so why not give back to the society that needs our help? 

Once an elderly man asked me, “Since now you’re caring for the elderly, have you made any preparations for when you’re old?”. This was a ‘wake-up call’ to me as it reminded me that all of us will age eventually. Pursuing caregiving can be a way for us to not just help others, but also prepare us to care for our loved ones in the future or even ourselves when we get old. It can teach us what sort of care we need in the future and what to expect.”

Indra: “Well, I think in this world where many focus on material possessions and self-interest, caregiving is a noble and fulfilling job where you get to earn money and receive God’s blessing. This career will give us great rewards together with contentment and perhaps you will be able to find your life’s purpose.”

Nur Shahida: “To the young people out there, you can definitely consider health care as a career choice because there are many people with health complications in need of care especially from people with young energy like us. You will feel job satisfaction and joy from the care you are able to contribute. It will also help to cultivate the character of loving one another even if they are of different cultures.”

What kind of impact do you aspire to create in your role as a caregiver/nurse? 

Muhammad Syahrul: “I would like to be remembered as a healthcare professional who can provide efficient service and education to the next generation. I hope our healthcare system can be improved so that the next generation will get more equipped on proper care to create a healthier community.”

Ally: “As a caregiver, I hope that more families will be open to our services and reach out to us as a long-term arrangement to care for their parents so that they can retire and rest comfortably in their own homes.”

Indra: “Helping others is a key to your own happiness. If you think more about those around you, then you will find that you worry less about yourself.”

Nur Shahida: “I hope the future generation can continue to carry this baton providing care because it is a very honorable act and aligns with religious values. Continue to serve those in need.”

homage care professional Vijitha caregiving for senior

Careers at Homage Malaysia

Whether you are an aspiring caregiver, nurse, or therapist, you can make a difference in seniors’ lives through caregiving in your home country here in Malaysia.  

At Homage, we welcome Malaysians from the age of 18-65 to join our pool of trained and certified Care Professionals. Unsure if you are a great fit? Fret not as we provide caregiver training to ensure that you’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to provide quality care to the care recipients before you start.

Register now to be a Homage Care Pro and join the caregiving movement!

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