Nurses are our heroes, having led us to the light at the end of the tunnel through the sheer power of their resilience and dedication during the pandemic. Today’s nurses are not only highly-educated and skilled, they have also shown extraordinary care for patients, nimbleness in adapting to fluid situations and creativity in innovating healthcare for tomorrow.
Accident & Emergency (A&E) Nurse
CGH A&E nurses carry out multiple roles such as triaging, performing resuscitation and critical care procedures, minor surgical procedures and orthopaedic procedures, rendering treatment, and reassessing patients’ conditions. They are also proficient in intravenous (IV) cannulation (inserting a tube into a patient’s vein), venepuncture (inserting a needle into a vein) and plaster cast application. In the event of a civil emergency, they are deployed with the field medical team to provide emergency care. In this high-stress, fast-paced environment, A&E nurses are adaptable, highly-trained, and equipped with a broad foundation of clinical knowledge and skills to manage a wide range of acute, emergency and critical conditions.
Code Blue Nurse
Code blue nurses are empowered to administer emergency medicine to save lives. They render immediate care to patients during a ‘code blue’ — an emergency situation in the hospital where a patient is in cardiac or respiratory arrest. They are certified in the Basic Cardiac Life Support and Life Support Course for Nurses competencies, and possess strong clinical knowledge and skills as well as critical thinking. They also regularly practise with the doctors and training facilitators, using a high-fidelity (high degree of realism) mannequin in a clinical setting.
Community nurses ensure a seamless continuity of care during a patient’s transition from hospital to home. Besides minimising hospital readmissions, they play a key role in supporting the health, well-being and care of the community. They are trained in clinical and professional competencies to meet the complex and diverse needs of residents and their caregivers. They form collaborations with community partners to build service capabilities, and foster meaningful relationships with patients, most of whom are seniors. Community nurses provide personalised care during home visits or at Community Nursing Posts through health assessments and coaching, falls and frailty screenings, chronic disease education, post-discharge care and coordination, home visits, caregiver training and home palliative care.
Correctional Health Nurse
Correctional health nurses are highly specialised in treating medical needs — from medical emergencies and acute illnesses to chronic illnesses — in the prison setting with compassion, respect and objectivity. Besides administering medications, collecting specimens and providing wound care, they observe incarcerated patients for any adverse reactions to treatments and conduct psychiatric screenings where necessary. They stay on top of the latest medical-surgical nursing knowledge and skills, possess good and active listening skills and resilience, and are always prepared for emergencies. Correctional health nurses also work with other healthcare providers, specialists and services to provide follow-ups after the inmate’s release.
Inpatient Ward Nurse
Inpatient ward nurses play a pivotal role in providing round-the-clock holistic care. They plan and conduct physical examinations, as well as psychosocial and functional assessments for patients. They identify abnormalities, plan and implement nursing interventions, and evaluate patient outcomes. Besides assisting patients with their personal hygiene and nutritional needs, they assist in pre-operative care preparation and radiology examinations, and deliver post-operative care. Inpatient ward nurses systematically collaborate with multi-disciplinary teams to comprehensively meet the needs of patients and their families. They also engage patients and families in the discharge planning process to ensure the smooth transition of patients from hospital to community, and continue to provide consultative care post-discharge.
Medical Emergency Team (MET) Nurse
MET nurses provide a rapid response to warded patients who suddenly deteriorate acutely, carry out appropriate interventions, and monitor treatment responses to ensure their safety. They use resuscitative equipment, monitoring and assessment devices in their care work. MET nurses are trained with the vital knowledge, skills and competencies required to handle advanced critical care, have Intensive Care Unit (ICU) experience, and have completed their advanced diploma in critical care nursing. They work closely in a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, other nurses and respiratory therapists to provide well-coordinated and comprehensive care for patients throughout their care journey. MET nurses also collaborate with other CGH teams to enhance and innovate care delivery processes for patient safety.
The impact of care delivered by nurse educators is multiplied through their professional development of other nurses. Nurse educators guide and prepare in-service nurses and students in acquiring competencies in various clinical areas. They develop, implement and evaluate a holistic curriculum to equip nurses with the required knowledge and skills to deliver quality care. They also guide aspiring nurses in developing teaching competencies. With a heart for nurturing the younger generation, nurse educators have clinical competence and experience, clinical teaching skills, as well as good interpersonal and communication skills to advocate best practices and engage learners effectively.
Nurse innovators explore and develop innovative solutions to existing challenges in healthcare, analyse emerging technologies and concepts with partners, and evaluate their potential for trials in a hospital setting. They also develop and lead plans for piloting and implementing such innovations at CGH. Nurse innovators work on the frontlines, by patients’ bedsides or behind the scenes. These experiences provide first-hand insights to aid them in identifying challenges and gaps — which are opportunities to transform care with innovative processes. They also keep abreast of healthcare trends and best practices in innovation, and work closely with internal and external partners to co-create innovations to benefit patients.
Operating Theatre (OT) Nurse
OT nurses provide care for patients peri-operatively (around the time of the surgery) alongside surgeons, anaesthetists and ancillary support staff. The scrub nurses prepare instruments for the procedure and maintain sterility throughout the surgery. Circulating nurses manage the safety and patient care aspects of the OT. Anaesthesia nurses care for the patients undergoing or recovering from anaesthesia. OT nurses have strong situational awareness — especially of infection control measures and sterility — and anticipate the needs of surgeons and anaesthetists to prevent any delays during surgery. They possess excellent knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, and have extensive technical knowledge. OT nurses team up with other CGH care team members to provide holistic surgical multi-disciplinary care for patients.
Palliative Care Nurse
As palliative care nurses, compassion and kindness are essential in helping patients and caregivers through the patients’ last moments. Palliative care nurses bring comfort to patients and family members as they journey through the end-of-life process. They mainly tend to patients with life-limiting illnesses such as cancer, organ diseases, frailty, stroke, parkinsonisms and dementia. Through the assessment of physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs, they seek to improve the quality of patients’ lives and help to relieve suffering. They focus on symptom management, effective culturally-sensitive communications and care of patients as well as their family members by providing grief and bereavement support.
Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOC) Nurse
A part of CGH’s multi-disciplinary team, SOC nurses work at the 21 specialist clinics or Multi-Speciality Practice clinics at CGH to provide integrated care. They provide specialised care as well as patient education based on individual conditions. Depending on the specialist clinic, SOC nurses can administer outpatient antibiotics therapy, phototherapy (using different wavelengths of ultraviolet light to reduce itch and inflammation of the skin), assessment of geriatric syndromes such as falls, cognition, continence as well as caregiver education. They acquire these skills through on-the-job training and specialised advance education training.
Tracheostomy nurses review patients with tracheostomy tubes in the wards, perform tube changes and coordinate their care plans. They also provide care for complex tracheostomy-ventilated patients by providing intensive caregiver training and coordination with the home ventilation team. This paves the way for patients to spend quality time at home in the safe hands of their caregiver. They have a background in intensive care and work closely with CGH’s multi-disciplinary team members to coordinate patients’ care plans. These include doctors for directed care, physiotherapists for secretion management and mobility, speech therapists for communication and feeding, occupational therapists for transiting the patient from hospital to home, respiratory therapists for managing patients on ventilators, and medical social workers for patients’ discharge planning.
Trauma nurses care for patients who suffer trauma and are admitted to CGH throughout their hospital stay. In the A&E Department, trauma nurses respond to trauma and civil emergency activations, mini casualty surges, and assist in resuscitation and stabilisation of trauma patients. In inpatient settings, trauma nurses conduct daily ward rounds, and coordinate management plans between the multi-disciplinary care team members to provide holistic care. Teamwork and expertise are vital, and trauma nurses work closely with doctors from the various surgical disciplines, nurses from different specialties and wards, and allied health professionals from multiple fields.
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