Celebrating Two Centuries of Nursing Care

27 August 2020
Jeremy Pakiam
Assistant Manager

This year's Nurses' Day was an especially poignant one, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated 2020 as the 'International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife' in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. This year also marked 135 years of nursing in Singapore.

SIT continued with its tradition of celebrating Nurses' Day in early August. However, this year's festivities were de-centralised and taken online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The upside to this was that a joint celebration was organised for nursing faculty and students in Singapore and their counterparts at the University of Glasgow (UofG), held for the first time via Zoom!

Nursing students and faculty from both SIT and UofG joined in the Nurses' Day celebrations over Zoom.

Nursing students and faculty from both SIT and UofG joined in the Nurses' Day celebrations over Zoom.

The proceedings kicked-off with Programme Directors from both universities, A/Prof Rosy Tay and A/Prof Dora Howes sharing how Nurses ' Day is celebrated around  the world, and the origins of nursing in Singapore and UK.

In line with this year's theme, 'Braving the Storm in the COVID-19 pandemic', nursing students shared anecdotes of their clinical work experiences amid the pandemic. For Year 1 student Sathiya Soorian, a month-long deployment at Orchard Park Hotel where he assisted with swabbing operations, re-affirmed his call to the nursing profession. He recalled how a patient, who had just been tested positive, suddenly tearing up as he waited for the ambulance to arrive. Sathiya did his best to comfort and calm the patient down. "It made me realise that sometimes, the human touch can do wonders," Sathiya remarked.

Co-ordinating a celebration in spite of the seven-hour time difference was no easy feat, and A/Prof Rosy gave credit to the organising committee for their perseverance and team work. "It was certainly tough for these students as they had to conduct Zoom meetings over different time zones, on top of juggling their studies, clinical placements and deployments. I'm glad that our team bonded well to overcome these challenges for a memorable joint celebration!" she said.

Chief Nursing Officer, Ms Paulin Koh, graced the occasion as Guest of-Honour and had some uplifting words for the students: "Going forth, there will be challenges and opportunities ahead in your nursing journey. Do keep a positive attitude and have an open mind always. Even as the battle with COVID-19 continues, let us forge ahead with strength and resilience, stay united and support one another; and we will come out of this stronger! I wish you all the best in your studies and look forward to having you onboard to contribute to our healthcare system when you graduate. Happy Nurses' Day to all!"