I joined Tan Tock Seng Hospital as a Patient Information Associate in 2007. To be honest, it never crossed my mind that one day I would be working in a hospital. So when I got offered the role of PIA instead, it was really something new.
There is never a dull moment as a PIA. You are not stationed in one location, you rove around and meet different people of all levels, nationality, race and age. You learn how to deal with different situations and manage different people. This has allowed me to explore and learn more about myself in the process.
One thing I’ve learnt is to listen: Listen, understand them and then communicate. Words have many meanings. For instance, a patient could come up to you and ask “Where is the eye clinic?” It is a simple question but are we talking about Clinic 1A? Or is it the clinic at the atrium? People who come and approach us often are already down because of their illness or their family member is unwell and it is our jobs to offer them a helping hand and not add to their burden.
There was once a brother of a stroke patient who came up to me, he said: “Hi, do you still remember me? When my brother came in here, you told him “Be strong, don’t worry, we are here, we want you to get better.” That really helped him.” It is times like that when we see them smile; it really encourages us and makes our day.
I love music, and making people happy. For me, music is therapy, it is universal. Music can cure and bring joy to everyone from patients, the public and staff. When I saw that Nursing Jamz – our nursing body was bringing joy to patients using music, I asked Laley, the Nurse Manager in charge if there was any opportunity for me to volunteer as part of the band. Since then, we have gotten requests from Nursing to perform during the Mooncake Festival at CDC 1 for patients and the Art of Healing programme at the atrium. When the hospital hosted some delegates from Sri Lanka, we were also asked by Nursing to perform.
In 2014, I decided to introduce my daughter to Nursing Jamz. She has an interest in music but was rather shy. I told her not to be as this is the time for us to do our best. Since then, she has joined us on a few performances to give cheer to the patients.
I never thought I would one day be in this profession but it has been the most fulfilling journey. I am happy to serve and happy to see others smile.
Zainuddin Bin Mohamed
Patient Information Associate
Tan Tock Seng Hospital