International Nurses Day
Each year, International Nurses Day is celebrated on the 12th of May to commemorate the birth of ‘The Mother of Nursing’, Florence Nightingale and to celebrate nurses’ contribution toward the health and wellbeing of others across the world.
This year, the theme for International Nurses Day is: Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health. Nursing comes with many challenges and satisfaction that can be difficult to find elsewhere. To find out what nursing life has been like for the last 2 years, we spoke to four nurses that are making a difference here at Homage and their hopes for the future of nursing in Malaysia.
Xue Zheng Yap, Care Professional since March 2020
What inspired you to become a nurse?
Xue Zheng Yap: Growing up, I had the opportunity to see my mother flourish as a nurse. However, when my late grandparents became unwell, my mother made the tough decision to resign and become a full-time caregiver for my grandparents. At the time, my late grandparents were staying in our home and having had a front-row seat to how she took care of them with such passion and love for them has shaped me into who I am today as a nurse.
My main motivation for pursuing a career in nursing came as a result of the sacrifice my mum made all those years ago and is a homage to her.
Why do you believe nursing education is important in Malaysia?
Xue Zheng Yap: I’d say that the nursing community should expand or increase in numbers in Malaysia and that can only come with better nursing education. Globally, we are seeing a shortage of healthcare professionals and this includes midwives and nurses. Alongside Africa, Southeast Asian countries are also seeing the largest shortage of nurses and midwives in the world. Better nursing education in Malaysia is crucial to bring these numbers up and help to prevent a staffing crisis in this country.
Secondly, we need to change the public’s perception. Many may still believe that nurses are simply here to ‘serve medication and change diapers when needed’. A career in nursing is not for the faint of heart and involves a great deal of medical knowledge. I believe if this is more widely understood, nurses would be far more appreciated in Malaysia.
Sarah Azedi, Care Professional since January 2020
What led you to work in senior care/Homage?
Sarah Azedi: I realised early on in my career that I love work involving elderly health. My passion is in gerontological nursing which is a specialised branch of nursing that focuses on care for the older population.
For that reason, Homage is the perfect place for me to match my expertise and passion for senior care. I really resonate with the core mission of ‘enabling wellness and recovery through holistic personal care’. As the care recipients are mostly the elderly, this platform has enabled me to expand my knowledge and fulfil my passion at the same time.
How has nursing changed after the 2-year pandemic or how have your views changed as a healthcare professional during this time?
Sarah Azedi: Based on my experience, I can confidently say that nurses are much more appreciated in the last 2 years. We are after all a part of the ‘frontliners’ here in Malaysia and have risked our lives for the safety and wellbeing of others. My peers and I have been able to improve our skills and knowledge in such a short amount of time and although the situation was far from ideal, we have a huge sense of pride and joy in what we do.
Shaamini Chandrasekharan, Care Specialist since February 2022
The last 2 years have been very difficult for healthcare professionals. What do you think can be improved?
Shaamini Chandrasekharan: Many nurses will tell you that shortage has been a big problem in the country. Hospitals and medical facilities can better support nurses by ensuring that there is enough manpower to accommodate the needs of patients instead of nurses having to work overtime, perform double shifts and shorten their days’ off – which all leads to exhaustion and burnout!
Nurses must also stand together to demand better wages for what we do. This is also why many nurses decide to join Homage – for the flexibility it offers and the attractive earnings.
What do you hope for the future of nursing and nurses in this country?
Shaamini Chandrasekharan: I am a proud nurse and I hope that more of the younger generations decide to pursue a career in nursing. There’s nothing quite like it! At the same time, I’d love for nurses to be recognised more for their services in patient care since we are the backbone of the health care system!
Naqiuddin Zainal Abidin, Care Professional since October 2019
What is your message to other nurses out there?
Naqiuddin Zainal Abidin: Each day on the job, your compassion for others does not go unnoticed and your helping hand does make a difference in the lives of others. It may not always seem this way and times can get tough but you are appreciated, admired and loved. To my fellow nurses, thank you for showing up every day!
What is your message to other nurses out there that would like to join Homage?
Naqiuddin Zainal Abidin: If you are feeling unsure at the moment, this is your sign to take the leap! Homage has been instrumental in my career journey and has helped me to become a better nurse.
The experiences from my role here have been some of the most rewarding accomplishments I have had in my nursing career. If you are passionate about patient care, have experience in senior care or would like to deepen your skills, this is the place for you.
⏰ Flexible work schedules, better work-life balance
Investing in the Future of Healthcare
Devotion toward the welfare of others is a huge part of being a nurse. Nurses provide both a sense of security and comfort for those under their care and act as a support system for doctors. Without nurses, there is no healthcare. The time is now for us to invest in better education and resources to support healthcare professionals in order to build a strong healthcare system in the country.
We would like to thank the selfless and dedicated nurses here and all over the world for their work over the years, in the future and especially during the pandemic.
Finally, a special thank you to Care Professionals Xue, Sarah, Naqiuddin and Care Specialist Shaamini for taking time out of their busy schedule to share their experience and shed the light on important matters surrounding nursing.
May our communities continue to shower nurses with well-deserved appreciation and support even beyond the pandemic.