Medical mission to Cambodia with family inspired this Nanyang Poly award winner
Her mother used to be a staff nurse at St Luke's Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.
Her father is a general practitioner at various polyclinics and does temperature checking and swab testing and also provides consultations.
And her sister is pursuing a degree in speech pathology at the University of Queensland in Australia.
So it seemed only natural that Ms Celine Lee, 21, would pursue a diploma in nursing at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP).
She graduated this month with a grade point average of 3.98 and is the recipient of the Tay Eng Soon Health Sciences Award. She plans to become a dentist.
Ms Lee said it was a medical mission trip with her family to Cambodia in 2015 that got her interested in nursing. She was in Secondary 4 then and she saw how healthcare workers tended to sick villagers.
Ms Lee told The New Paper: "I used to tag along with my mum at work to see what she did.
"This profession allows you to be compassionate and that inspired me."
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected her family and she has seen first-hand its impact on healthcare workers.
She said: "My dad tells me about how he has to take extra precautions at work such as following safe distancing measures and when he removes his personal protective equipment. He sleeps separately from the rest of us to ensure our family's safety."
At NYP, she took part in two overseas exchange programmes.
She had a one week stint at Hamamatsu city in Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, where she visited healthcare facilities and observed their practices.
Later, she spent two months in the US, at the University of Pennsylvania and its hospital.
She has also done several internships here as a student nurse at Singapore General Hospital and polyclinics as part of her clinical attachments every semester.
Ms Lee said her experiences have made her respect healthcare professionals so much more, especially during this pandemic.
She said: "It is important to have resilience, it requires a lot of energy and it is very challenging."