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“Grab the chance before ‘she takes off in a plane’, there will be no turning back….”
31 July 2015

Nurse Amy defines professionalism in her own way and shares stories of how her job as a palliative nurse, brings meaning and life.

Tucked in pink, pulling a luggage filled with medication in one hand and a laptop bag on the other, strolling down streets, that’s a HCA nurse on the go. Occasionally, struggling with an umbrella on rainy days or as shade on sunny days. Amy Lim, a passionate nurse of HCA Hospice Care, is one who detest the sun yet willingly go the extra mile to love and bring comfort to her patients.

(Story of Mr Mahmood – What’s Left of Me)

“Being a palliative nurse is about the friendship build on trust,” Nurse Amy says. “Professionalism is neither the outlook nor glamour, it is how you ease the physical pain and care for patients in all aspects before they board the plane.”

She believes strongly in what she does and always carries a positive vibe. Amy describes her patients as passengers ready to board a flight, “We do not have the luxury of time. They are given the boarding passes, whatever chances, I need to treasure them before they board.”

Amy often feels helpless, empty handed with nothing more to offer, however, she learnt that all her patients want is her wholehearted presence. “It is a gift to serve, sometimes we only have that one chance to give this incredible gesture of love.”

Patients are often in pain when referred to HCA, the medical team would then try their best to ease their pain and let them pass on comfortably.

“Cancer may destroy you physically, but it should never destroy your spirit, let your soul continue to soar,” Amy says.

Madam Wong, was one of the many patients who motivated Nurse Amy and confirmed her conviction was realistic. She had cancer of the hard palate (the roof of a human’s mouth), it spread so rapidly that it disfigured her face and caused her to be blind overnight. Yet, she lived with so much courage and optimism. Knowing that death was near, she plucked up the courage and did a video clip, thanking all who has crossed path and imparted into her life.

“Spend the time you invested in me to pamper yourself, don’t worry about me, she said it with so much positivity,” Amy says. Despite her disfigurement and emitting smell from the wound, Amy never fails to affirm her with hugs. “That alone is enough, she felt so loved and comforted.” She passed on earlier in March, leaving only sweet memories for those around her. Indeed, she fought a good battle.

Nevertheless, there were also instances where patients ranted and scolded her over the phone for the slightest reasons. “I tell myself that when my hands are empty, when I have no more magic wand in my hand, I will just stay on the ground and share the frightening darkness with my patients.” She maintains calm and tackles it all in love, of course, ending on a good note. “One of the patients even wanted to share his burger with me when I visited.”

These are what defines Amy’s job as meaningful despite the strenuous work and distances she has to travel each day. “I always count it as a blessing and privilege to intervene in someone’s life, at such an intimate and crucial part of their movie,” Amy would remind herself.

Amy was previously from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology sector, from baby wails to now, funeral tears. Joining palliative was a huge pay cut, yet eight years into the job, she never regrets and continues to live according to her belief “Your pain is my pain, your joy and victory, is my joy.”

It truly takes great courage, together with great determination to make a real journey. Nurses in HCA Hospice Care are always on their feet, ready to run the world, with their physical strength and emotional support for their patients. It is about washing the feet that will not walk tomorrow, a sacred and special responsibility – in love and gentleness, with time as an important factor.

HCA Hospice Care is proud of its dedicated team of nurses! Do email us at communications@hcahospicecare.org.sg if you have any feedback or words of encouragement for the nurses. For more information about our services, you may log on to https://www.hca.org.sg/hospice/services/care-hca.