With so many recent reports of hostility and fear directed towards nurses and other healthcare workers, it's crucial to remember the sacrifices these workers make on a daily basis.
A woman, Jocelyn Ng, a regular at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, recently posted an articulate and heartwarming tribute on Instagram to the staff who cared for her during a checkup.
Staff kept apologising
Ng told Mothership that she suffers from Neuromyelitis Optica, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in her brain stem, spinal chord and eyes.
As a result, she has to head down to TTSH's Accident & Emergency unit every three months for an infusion to prevent relapses.
It was during one of these appointments that Ng noticed the politeness the staff displayed.
Ng revealed that during her treatment, staff kept apologising to her, something she "felt was not needed":
"They apologised for taking my temperature three times upon admission. They apologised for being extra meticulous. They kept on apologising. But they really didn’t have to."
These staff likely understand that some might consider the temperature checks are a hassle.
And especially with the enmity healthcare workers face these days, they are likely trying to avoid conflict with members of the public as much as possible.
Calm and collected
Ng also praised healthcare staff for ensuring patients were cared for in an orderly manner.
As the ward is located right next to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), Ng admitted that she was nervous before the checkup and had expected the entire hospital to be "chaotic" during the virus outbreak now.
However, she said the A&E waiting area was "one of the neatest" she had ever seen.
Additionally, the nurses' calm and collected manner soothed her as well.
Due to the protective gear the staff donned, Ng said it was hard to read their emotions.
Yet, the only thing she detected from them was calm and professionalism, which they displayed through their body language.
"None of them complained. They looked their best. I would panic if they looked uneasy, fearful etc."
She said that seeing them so brave and not flustered made her feel at ease too.
Bravery and courage
Ng applauded all healthcare workers for choosing this tough profession, for their persistence and courage caring for complete strangers.
She speculated that the protective gear, like masks and goggles, likely made it hard to breathe, but staff had to wear it anyway to protect themselves, the public and their loved ones.
In response to the reports of nurses being shunned, Ng asked:
"What happens when our loved ones contract the virus and need the nurses care? Would we begin to treat them differently this time?"
Ng said she guessed that the public is unable to see "what they can't see", which was the effort and dedication staff put into their work behind the scenes.
Ng was also adamant of the appreciation these medical staff deserve, saying that nurses "are all humans before they are nurses".
And in trying times like these, Ng said it was especially important for Singapore to stay united rather than divided, and added that healthcare workers' attitudes had inspired her to be a better version of herself.
"When I arrived at the place of my infusion, they told me visitors are not allowed but I wasn’t scared at all. It just shows how confident they are to take care of me, and how protective they are for our families.
I see them trying their best and I’ll also want to be my best for them."
You can read Ng's Instagram post here.
Top photo from @ngjocelyn and TTSH / FB