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Leading Change As an Educator

Featuring Assistant Director Nursing, Zubaidah Mohamed, Education & Training

"Learning does not stop at a diploma," said Zubaidah Mohamed, Assistant Director, Nursing (ADN).

"Instead, their lifelong learning path begins when they graduate and will be so throughout their nursing careers. They need to maintain knowledge and relevance in an ever-changing clinical world. Today, patient care is more complex than a decade ago. It was brought on by new medication regimens, the advent of smart medical technology, and more health problems than there were as the population ages," she explained.

A nursing career spanning more than 35 years, ADN Zubaidah began her career in the plastic surgery and burns unit.

"During my first year as a young, registered ICU-trained nurse, I had to manage a patient with a gunshot wound over the chest. He developed cardiac tamponade and had to be rushed to the operating theatre.”

A Seeker of Knowledge

"I am a big advocate of learning, not only for what we are currently doing but also for the future," she said.

"Learning gives our nurses the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills needed to resolve issues while taking care of patients. When nurses stay current with new techniques and procedures, they can influence healthcare in ways that improve patients' outcomes, patients' safety, and quality of care," she explained.

Being the learning advocate that she is, it is no surprise that ADN Zubaidah has not stopped learning since graduating in the ‘80s. She recently finished a postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration.

A Mentor, A Teacher

To her colleagues, she is an enthusiastic teacher and mentor. A chairman of the Nursing and Patient Care Standards Committee, ADN Zubaidah is also a qualified Principal Chief Instructor for Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED).

ADN Zubaidah organized the FPH Journal Club to encourage nurses to present research papers for discussion of complex case studies. She was also one of the judges for the nursing research presentations at the Gastroenterological Society of Singapore.

Beyond leading the nursing education department at Farrer Park Hospital (FPH), ADN Zubaidah also sits as a member of the Continuing Medical Education and the Hospital's Annual Scientific Meeting. She is also actively involved in the Singapore Nursing Association under the Critical Care Nursing Chapter.

"When I first became a nurse, I dedicated my time to developing my skills to meet my patients' needs. That was many years ago," she said.

"As I advanced in my nursing profession, I realized that it takes more than great clinical knowledge and skills to be a great nurse. That's when I decided to shift my focus to teaching aspiring nurses and passing on my clinical experience and evidence-based practices that I have gathered over the years," she said.

After completing her Master's degree and a postgraduate diploma in education, ADN Zubaidah joined the teaching service in 1994 at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). She was involved in teaching both diploma and advanced diploma in critical care nursing program. Though she now heads the Education & Training Department at FPH, she is still actively coordinating with NYP for their nursing students' clinical placement program.

During the time she was leading the department, ADN Zubaidah and her nurse leaders developed nursing protocols, assessment checklists and work instructions. They were designed with a great deal of attention to accuracy and reliability to cover both patients' and their families' best interests. She was also involved in preparing and training both and non-clinical staff to manage and care for COVID-19 patients at both the hospital and One Farrer Hotel.

An Advocate of Learning

"I was the only nurse in the family. My uncle and cousins, who are practicing doctors, inspired my interest in healthcare. Since I could not get into medicine, nursing was my next best option to enter healthcare," ADN Zubaidah recalled.

"It's never about the money," she said. "I was just passionate about nursing and even more motivated to share what I know and exchange knowledge with my peers."

"To the young nurses and the current cohort of nurses, besides the passion and the attributes of resilience, they have to lead their careers through lifelong learning. It is not only for professional obligations but for the responsibility we have as nurses because patients' outcome is dependent on our care."

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