Aunt & uncle inspired him
NURSE COUPLE: Mr Nasrifudin Najumudin with his wife, Madam Nordiana Sazali. TNP PHOTO: NURJANNAH ZULKIFLI
As a child, he always watched his aunt and uncle, both nurses, when they helped his diabetic grandparents with their insulin injections.
It then dawned on him that being a nurse would be useful when it comes to attending to sick family members at home, and that inspired him to take up nursing.
Today, Mr Nasrifudin Najumudin, 31, is a patient navigator at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
The team was set up two months ago to be a single point of contact for patients and families, from the point of hospitalisation to step-down care and rehabilitation care for patients.
Mr Nasrifudin, who has been a nurse for a decade, spoke to The New Paper of how the actions of his uncle and aunt drew him towards nursing.
"I was just five then. Each time I saw my aunt and uncle attending to my grandparents, I would stand by the side to watch.
"I realised that being a nurse means I can help not just patients, but also my family members," said Mr Nasrifudin, who has another aunt and uncle who are nurses as well.
One of his uncles, Mr Malek Amat, 55, who has been a nurse for three decades said: "When we helped my parents with their injections, he would stand there and kaypoh (Malay for being nosy) a bit.
"I didn't expect him to grow up to become a nurse."
Adding that he is proud of his nephew, Mr Malek said: "I haven't seen how he works, but as my nephew, I know he's very hardworking and responsible, which are traits important for a nurse."
Mr Nasrifudin went on to inspire his three younger cousins, who are now taking nursing diplomas.
As the idea of men working as nurses was less popular more than 10 years ago, Mr Nasrifudin said he had to bear with jibes from his friends.
He elaborated: "Out of my group of 10 friends, I was the only one studying nursing. The rest were all doing engineering, or IT, which was the 'in' thing then.
"They all thought that being a nurse means having to deal with urine, which is a myth - there is more to that."
Before he came a patient navigator, Mr Nasrifudin's job scope involved managing a team of nurses in a ward.
Being a man in a female-dominated workplace meant that he is often needed to deal with violent and abusive patients.
But nursing has its privileges too. Indeed, he met his wife on the job.
His wife is a senior enrolled nurse at SGH and they married in March after meeting in 2009 while working in the same ward.
"She understands how I feel because she's a nurse too. We're each other's confidante," Mr Nasrifudin said.
"I realised that being a nurse means I can help not just patients, but also my family members."
- Mr Nasrifudin Najumudin