Scared of blood, but he overcomes fear to saves lives
But his stint as a medic during NS helped him fight his fear and dedicate himself to saving lives
As a staff nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), he has to deal with blood every day.
However, even though he can now insert IV plugs with ease, it was not always the case.
Ever since the age of 13, Mr Muhammad Khairulddin Ali, now 29, has been scared of blood.
He is one of 100 nurses from SingHealth, a healthcare group, who helped to write and produce a book on nursing experiences titled Nursing the Heart, which Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen launched yesterday to celebrate 130 years of nursing in Singapore.
Mr Khairulddin has been working at SGH for 10 months, but was an enrolled nurse there from 2011 to March 2012. He said: "Open wounds with blood is what scared me the most. It's like I can feel the pain that person is feeling and I can't take it."
His fear started when he injured himself while playing football with his brother at home when he was 13.
Mr Khairulddin slipped and slammed his shin into the corner of a wall.
"There was a big hole in my shin that was bleeding and I felt a throbbing pain," he said, indicating that the hole was the size of a dollar coin.
He was scared that he would need stitches if he went to a hospital, so Mr Khairulddin just washed the wound with water and bandaged it at home. It took one month to heal completely.
However, when Mr Khairulddin was assigned as a medic during his national service (NS) in 2007, he had to face his fear.
His first call as a medic was for a car accident where a bus had hit two women while turning.
One woman was behind the stopped bus and the other was under the bus.
"The woman under the bus was crying and said her leg was in incredible pain. When the two paramedics cut away her jeans to get to her leg, her bone was protruding from her shin. It was gory and I had to try my best to block all of my emotions," Mr Khairulddin said.
He helped the woman onto a stretcher and also immobilised her injured leg for the trip to National University Hospital.
Being a medic during NS was what motivated Mr Khairulddin to become a nurse, and he has since got a diploma in nursing from Nanyang Polytechnic.
Mr Khairulddin said: "I had to overcome my fear day by day, and be brave. I had to lock whatever feelings I had to save people's lives."
Proud to be 'agent of care'
'RARE BREED': Mr Luther Yiew, 26, is one of only nine male nurses of 1,800 nurses at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
He is one of only nine male nurses out of 1,800 nurses working at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Mr Luther Yiew, 26, said: "It was interesting at first because people would stare at you, but it doesn't really get to me any more. We're the 'rare breed' there, but everyone works hard together."
Mr Yiew, who also contributed to Nursing the Heart, grew up in an engineering family, as his mother and both his older brothers are engineers.
His family never imagined he would choose nursing as a profession. "They were really taken aback, particularly because I'm male. At first, they tried to get me to reconsider," said Mr Yiew, who has been working as a nurse for two years.
However even in the face of scepticism from his family, he remained firm in his decision.
"When I was in national service seven years ago, I told people that I wanted to be a nurse, and everyone was also very surprised," Mr Yiew said.
He added: "Even though male nurses face a bit of a hurdle due to social norms, I knew the nursing profession was a noble one. I stuck to my original goal and passion and it's been worthwhile."
Now, Mr Yiew, a senior staff nurse, has a degree in nursing from the National University of Singapore, and his family has accepted his career choice.
Mr Yiew, who has been engaged for two years, said: "Nursing is a very rewarding career. What I enjoy most about my job is that I can alleviate parents' and children's anxieties. I am an agent of care."
Diabetic, but he's unfazed
He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 12 years old.
He has had to inject himself with insulin four times a day for the past 20 years.
But instead of letting it faze him, Mr Aizawa Marco, 32, is out to prove that he can control diabetes instead of letting it control him.
Now, a staff nurse at the National Heart Centre, he said he was inspired by some Americans who were diagnosed with diabetes and formed a cycling group in the US.
"I asked myself that if they could do it, why can't I? I then told myself that I had to conquer diabetes," said Mr Aizawa, who regularly cycles long distance.