Melliana is a Community Nursing Scholar with MOH Holdings (MOHH) currently pursuing Bachelor of Science (Nursing) in NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies. She will be posted to Ren Ci upon graduation.
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.” This quote from St Therese forms the core of Community Nursing Scholar Melliana’s life philosophy.
Her resolution to be kind and caring for others in any possible way led her to take up the Community Nursing Scholarship (CNS) offered by MOH Holdings (MOHH) and jointly promoted with the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC).
AIC partners MOHH to attract, develop and groom talent into future nursing leaders in the Community Care sector through the award of CNS. This is part of its mission of transforming the Care Community in delivering care for seniors and clients, working with partners such as Ren Ci. Thus, the Community Care sector is the perfect place for Melliana to put her philosophy into practice by looking after the seniors under her care.
Melliana will be posted to Ren Ci upon her graduation as a Community Care nurse. There, she will be able to put her learning into practice by helping seniors manage their health conditions with loving kindness and compassion. Her work will not end when a patient is discharged. Instead, she will walk with them on their recovery journey by educating them on how to take care of themselves at home and prevent relapses of their conditions.
In for the Long Haul
A few years ago, Melliana’s grandparents were frequently in and out of the hospital following a series of strokes. She witnessed first-hand how the nurses cared for her grandparents and other patients. This inspired her to follow in their footsteps and become a nurse.
However, choosing the scholarship that best fits her, from among all the healthcare awards available, required further consideration.
The answer came to her during her first clinical attachment at a Community Hospital.
During the attachment, she found that even though nurses and doctors provided support and guidance to their elderly patients, many seniors were re-admitted to the hospital soon after discharge for the same health issues. This saddened her deeply, and she realised that patients and their caregivers needed more support post-discharge.
With this, she decided that joining the Community Care sector would allow her to actively address this issue. That cinched her decision to take up the Community Nursing Scholarship, as long-term, deeply personalised connections with patients beyond their hospital stay is part and parcel of the job.
Furthermore, a structured Scholars’ Development Framework provided by MOHH for Healthcare Scholars to grow and develop in their chosen profession also appealed to her. All these made Melliana even more certain that taking up the Community Nursing Scholarship was indeed the correct choice.
Today, Melliana is pursuing a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) at the NUS Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies.
More than technique, the most important thing she learnt was the importance of viewing patients holistically without over-focusing on their medical conditions.
“Nursing is more than just caring for patients’ physical health needs using the nursing skills that I picked up,” she clarified. “It involves understanding their other needs, such as social and mental health, which hinder their recovery and facilitating care for those areas.”
Being in the Community Care sector would allow Melliana to tap on the different services available in the Community to provide continuous support after patients are discharged. These include home care services, which form an indispensable part of a holistic healthcare system by reducing over-reliance on hospitals and patient re-admissions. Additionally, Community Nursing Posts provide an avenue to seek health advice and assistance without crowding polyclinics and hospitals.
This is particularly vital for elderly patients who have difficulty understanding or maintaining healthcare routines. “I came to understand their distress in not having someone to turn to for advice or help,” she reflected. This reinforced her decision to specialise in Community Care.
“Through my career in the Community Care sector, I hope to make a difference to the quality of life of patients through better management of their health conditions.”
The Community Nursing Scholarship under MOHH has helped Melliana realise her dream of providing care beyond acute hospital doors, but also offers a clear pathway in terms of career development.
“Upon graduation, Community Nursing Scholars like myself will undergo a structured developmental programme for a year to enhance their learning and growth,” she shared. “We (in-service scholars) can look forward to mentorship support, and there will also be networking events, fireside chats and leadership milestone programmes organised by MOHH and AIC to support our personal and leadership growth.”
She concluded with some rousing words of encouragement: “When you feel a strong calling to work in the Community Care sector as a nurse, have faith and apply for the scholarship.”