Just to share a real-life story from Anonymous who commented on Thursday, November 07, 2013 8:14:00 AM on my blog post "It's not so simple". If you want to believe how Singapore's healthcare system is "world class", then perhaps people like Anonymous and I are the just "the suay kuan" [i.e. "the unlucky ones"]. Otherwise, you'd question whether the occasional reports that leak about the aggression and violence faced by healthcare workers (nurses in particular) in Singapore are really the tip of the iceberg of an endemic issue.
Thank you, Anonymous, for sharing your personal story.
[The following is copied from a comment left by Anonymous on Thursday, November 07, 2013 8:14:00 AM on my blog post "It's not so simple". Changes in font size, bold, italics and underline are added by me for emphasis.]
As a student nurse in Singapore, I bore witness to the most horrifying situation that happened in the hospital. There was a patient which was coding, and there were only 2 student nurses (one of which is myself). The emergency button was pressed. Guess what...a registered nurse (foreign trained) appeared but she took a look and walked off saying she needed to fetch her patient from OT. Needless to say , patient died because there were only 2 of us to do cpr and suction the bloody emesis while yelling for help after she left. Worse timing was it happened during break and the other nurse was in the private room doing a tracheostomy dressing. After she heard us, that nurse ran out of the private room and immediately took action. I reported that foreign nurse.
HO HO HO. I got blacklisted for pushing the matter. The senior nursing officer was telling me to keep quiet if I wanted my career. I stuck to my principles. Worse of all , I was bonded. So you can imagine what happened to me.....
When they made my life a total misery and told me that I was the most useless nurse etc , that I will never make it anywhere else ...etc ....making my rosters 12 days in a row and one day off at each end [checked, I have experienced that]. Even better, making me work when I was having a fever [checked, I have experienced that too], and landing me in ED with a 40 degree fever and a fit. THEN telling me that if I take more than 3 days leave, I can forget about my performance review. That went on for more than 3 months.
It broke me down. For doing the right thing, I got marked. All the time, I kept it from my family until my father found me at the edge of our study window deciding whether I should jump or not. He decided to buy out the bond.
Even better when I sent the resignation letter in, matron called me down and asked me if I can 'even afford' to pay off and I would be 'stuck' with the debt as well as saying 'you know....your family is not that rich and you might need to wash the dishes ' when she did not even know my family background. I looked at her and said "cash ,cheque or credit card? Which payment option to take". She retorted at me "how dare you talk to me like that girl [again I have a similar experience]... your family is poor and you want to drive them into debt" [again similar to my experience].
The day after my father came, suddenly I was called down.....the matron met my father. HAHAHAHA She asked me if I told him anything about the hospital and the complaints I was making. I looked at her and informed her that whatever I said to my father is covered under lawyer client privilege and I know my rights. She was frightened. My father's old classmate was the CEO of that particular hospital and he told me while the matron was coming out, the CEO was just walking out to lunch and greeted him. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Suddenly the matron decided that I was the poor nurse getting bullied by senior nurses and she will discipline them ...and that every ward would be happy to take me in if I decide to withdraw the cheque and my resignation. My final words to her : Go to Hell.
I was naive and never used my dad as a connection. Had I revealed who my father was sooner, perhaps they would have licked my ass and gone after the incompetent nurse.
To my readers: The stuff that I wrote on my blog about nursing in Singapore has already been "censored" by me to avoid stuff that may cause lawsuits to my previous employer, etc. So I am not surprised at all by the stuff that Anonymous shared. Nursing in Singapore has a long way to go before it is truly a respectable profession.