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Patients Make Me A Better Nurse

Featuring Staff Nurse Apple Dream Legaspi, ESS; Staff Nurse Geramee Bril Maranan, Nuclear Medicine
and Staff Nurse Zyra Molina Chua, Major Surgery Suite


Help my Patient Smile

One of the first things that Staff Nurse (SN) Apple Dream Legaspi from the Endoscopy Suite (ESS) says is that her nursing attitude is what makes her job more manageable. "The opportunities - different people and a myriad of disciplines - that present itself every day is a new learning experience."

Apple Dream belongs to a team of nurses who assist in both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures carried out in the ESS procedure rooms. They include external examinations of the colon, digestive system, lungs, as well as removing a foreign body from the trachea.

When asked how she manages the procedures, SN Apple Dream says the Endoscopy training has prepared her to brief patients correctly and carry out each procedure in a systematic manner. It also helps that during her time in the Philippines, she started as an Operating Theatre nurse who often dealt with trauma patients that included life-threatening conditions; gunshot wounds and natural disaster victims, to name a few.

She adds that she likes to put a new patient who is undergoing a procedure for the first time at ease with an easygoing introduction of herself. "My name! Apple Dream!" relating, "I don't know why my parents decided to choose this name, but most of the patients feel more comfortable talking to me when they learn that my name is Apple Dream!"

Reigniting Passion

Like Apple Dream, SN Geramee Bril Maranan cherishes her interactions with patients the most.

"I love to talk to my patients, and that is the best part of being a nurse," shares SN Geramee.

After eight years in nursing, SN Geramee revealed she was on the verge of giving up her nursing career. However, instead of leaving the profession, she chose to switch work environments so she could still continue making a difference in patients’ lives.

Geramee is now a staff nurse at Farrer Park Hospital’s Nuclear Medicine Suite (NMS).

At NMS, Geramee says her work includes assisting in the administering of radiopharmaceuticals, the technologist, and doctor, as well as keeping the patient calm at all times. Nuclear medicine imaging provides detailed pictures of what is happening inside the body and can uncover abnormalities that might otherwise go undetected. The facility also has Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans, one of the most frequently used imaging methods. She finds her role at NMS very meaningful because Nuclear Medicine helps in detecting tiny growths and very subtle changes of function in organs, tissues, and other parts of the body in a patient. It helps with the treatment of the condition more accurately.

"Helping a patient survive and recover fully is a feeling like no other for a nurse," she added.

On this note, SN Geramee recalled an unforgettable experience of a patient whose life she has touched.

She said: "Not long after I joiend FPH, one of my colleagues told me there was someone who was looking for me. I was confused and wondered ‘why?' I recalled how happily he shouted when he met me. 'Geramee! It's me! Remember me?!' It took me awhile to realize that he was a patient I cared for in my last role at the intensive care unit; he looked so different back then as he was sick and lost a lot of weight."

"He had personally come to FPH to show me he had fully recovered and thanked me for taking good care of him," SN Geramee added. Upon realizing she has joined FPH, the patient whose life SN Geramee touched decided to reach out to her and wish her well in person.

"I was deeply moved, and this is why I want to continue," she said. After ten years of working in Singapore, SN Geramee believes she can still see herself as a nurse for a long time.

Reigniting Passion

For SN Zyra Molina Chua, she came from the Philippines as a cardiac scrub nurse. Working in FPH’s operating theatre, she was quickly exposed to many surgical disciplines. However she does agree with SN Geramee that her motivation to help patients get well is a top priority. She said that as a scrub nurse at the Major Surgery Suites (MSS), one must "be versatile and ready to take on challenges every day."

As a nurse in MSS, where major surgical operations are performed, SN Zyra says she knew it would be challenging. Still, she knew she would learn plenty since the facility allows a range of surgical procedures including intra-abdominal operations, breast surgery, vascular surgery, plastic and reconstructive surgery, urology, gyne-oncology surgery, orthopedic surgery and most importantly, cardiac surgery. She finds it fascinating that the latest technology are deployed in the theatres to cater to major complicated procedure such CRS/HIPEC procedures. There are even robotic technology to do knee replacement surgeries.

When asked to describe in one word the most important quality a nurse should have, she said it is "dedication".

“Doing your work will not always be easy but if one is truly committed, one can never give up easily no matter what challenges comes our way,” SN Zyra added.

She shared an example not long ago when a patient going through a surgical procedure at her breast region was so scared. "She grabbed my hand and squeezed so hard, but I continued to let her grab my hand even though it was getting painful," she recalled. I wanted to reassure the patient that she was not alone and I will be with her.

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