Community nurse likens herself to an ‘investigator’
She adds that communication with empathy is key in her work
Home visits are part of Ms Jeya Periasamy's job as a community nurse.
It is a role she has been in for eight years, the last four spent with Woodlands Health Campus.
She told The New Paper last week: "We are like investigators - one look at the kitchen, we are able to tell if the patient is following our advice to eat healthy.
"We are also able to quickly assess if the bedrooms and toilets are safe."
The senior staff nurse, 50, supports her patients' transition from hospital to home, so that they can remain well in the community for as long as possible.
These patients - aged between 40 and 100 - generally have complex care needs because of their medical, functional and social issues that require regular monitoring and review.
Singapore celebrates Nurses' Day on Aug 1 to honour the front-line healthcare workers for their hard work, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ms Jeya has taken upon herself to encourage unvaccinated seniors she visits to get jabbed against Covid-19 as she is worried about them becoming more ill, sharing with them recent data about how they might face severe symptoms without vaccination.
Before being a community nurse, Ms Jeya, a mother of two, spent 16 years as an intensive care unit nurse. That experience was vital, giving her the knowledge and confidence to help patients in their own homes by herself, she said.
"Being able to communicate with the patients and their family members with empathy is an important skill needed to be a good community nurse," she added.
Family member caregivers such as Madam Alice Tan, 64, have benefited from the warmth and compassion shown by Ms Jeya.
When Madam Tan's 84-year-old mother was discharged from the hospital in November last year, she felt overwhelmed.
She told TNP: "My mother had just had a leg amputated, and she has kidney failure. With no medical experience, how was I going to take care of her?"
Madam Tan was able to ease into her role with Ms Jeya's guidance, which also included revising with her how to administer a painkiller jab and coming up a step-by-step guidebook.
Even though Ms Jeya now physically checks in on them every three weeks, Madam Tan can count on her to provide advice through WhatsApp, like what to do when her mother suddenly experiences a sharp rise in blood pressure.
This has been a great relief as such moments can be very stressful, said Madam Tan.
She added: "Jeya goes beyond her duties, availing herself outside her work hours. She has been a blessing."
Ms Jeya also provides weekly consultations at the Sunlove Golden Saffron Senior Activity Centre's Community Nurse Post to residents in the area with chronic conditions.
Ms Jeya said: "Because they all live nearby, there is a kampung spirit as you see the same friendly faces regularly.
"There are many people, willing to come down and find out how they can improve their health, and they really appreciate it when they learn something new."