Left to right: Ms Nirmala Nair, Ms Stephanie Yeap and Ms Catherine Sandra Paul.

Three Catholic nurses who were among the 61 recipients of this year’s Healthcare Humanity Award attribute their faith for their accomplishments.

They are Ms Nirmala Nair, Ms Stephanie Yeap and Ms Catherine Sandra Paul.

The three nurses received the awards from President Tony Tan on May 15.

Working with cancer patients is difficult, said Ms Paul, who has been in the oncology ward in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital since 1990. Thus, she draws on the rosary to provide her with “a remarkable source of comfort and solace from the trials and obstacles” in her work.

When she prays, all her “worries seem to fade in the hope of God’s light. Especially when hope is most important for cancer patients”, she said.

She has supported grieving families through home visits and attending funerals as well being steadfast with follow-up calls which “make all the difference in bringing light to their lives”, she added.

Ms Paul started her career in Tan Tock Seng Hospital in 1985 and was part of the pioneer trainee batch to be specialised in oncology nursing.

Ms Nirmala, another recipient, said, “Being Catholic forms who I am, for the Lord said to care for the sick, feed the hungry and clothe the naked. There are so many opportunities in my work to do that and the challenges of life draws me to God’s love for others. I find strength from the Lord for without Him I am nothing.”

Ms Nirmala, a Senior Nurse Manager at Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic, is part of an informal group of volunteers called Family Affair comprising family and friends.

The volunteers travel to various parts of India to work with the less privileged through educational and social activities. She had worked with HIV-positive children and teenagers in an orphanage in Mumbai.

Ms Nirmala is the treasurer of the Catholic Nurses Guild. She has been in the profession for 32 years and has served in the old Woodbridge Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National University Hospital, and National Kidney Foundation.

Ms Yeap, the other Catholic recipient, told CatholicNews that her faith is the guiding principle to her work and she tries her best to imitate Christ through her duties as a nurse.

Ms Susan Loh, Senior Nurse Manager of Singapore General Hospital, who nominated Ms Yeap said, “She deserves this award because she has all along gone the extra mile to care for the patients. She would be available on her days off and stand in for others to work on her personal time, visit patients at home and participate in the stroke nurses volunteer programme at SGH and the Catholic Nurses Guild.”

The annual Healthcare Humanity Award which was inaugurated in 2004 honours outstanding healthcare workers who are inspirational role models that exemplify the values of courage, dedication, selflessness, steadfastness to ethics as well as compassion and humanity in patient care.

By Martin See
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