Nursing with a kampung spirit
Memories of a midwife in her childhood kampung in Geylang Serai inspired Ms Azmatthunnisha Nazirutheen to take up nursing.
"She came by every month to do immunisation and conduct health talks," said the 51-year-old nurse clinician. "I remember once when the kampung was flooded, she came to work in a sampan."
Today, that dedication is evident in Ms Azmatthunnisha, who is part of the Response, Early Intervention and Assessment in Community Mental Health (Reach) team at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
She was one of 100 nurses honoured at the Nurses' Merit Award Ceremony 2017 last Friday for outstanding performance and contribution to the profession.
Ms Azmatthunnisha works with school personnel and parents to help students aged six to 18 with emotional, social or behavioural issues.
She recounted how it took six sessions just to build trust and rapport with a student who had been struggling with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and behavioural issues.
She said: "Over 14 sessions, I worked with school personnel to bring up his self-confidence and self-esteem.
"I provided the child's primary caregiver, his grandaunt, with parenting sessions and behaviour management strategies to provide structure and routine at home.
"It's all about creating a continuity of care."
IMH chief nurse Samantha Ong said: "Azma's ability to build rapport and work effectively with her clients is truly an inspiration."