He was the only man in nursing course
Changi General Hospital (CGH) Senior Staff Nurse Sahnan Rahim, 41, stood out like a sore thumb at nursing school in 1998.
In his assistant nursing course at the School of Nursing, he was the only man in his class of 32 students.
He said: "It was a sudden shock because I joined nursing straight after my National Service. So from a male-dominated environment, I became the only male present."
It took him a few months to open up to his female classmates.
He said: "I like to talk to people and I like to care for people as well.
"People say nursing is a calling, so I guess nursing chose me."
He was "called" into the profession at 17 when his father was hospitalised due to a stroke.
Mr Sahnan said: "I was quite curious as to how they handled my father (and) how they cared for him.
"I would talk to (the nurses) and ask them what they were doing. They were quite patient with me so I thought, 'This is very interesting'."
Even though his father died in 1993 after four months in a coma, that experience stayed with Mr Sahnan.
In 2003, he took up a three-year full-time diploma in nursing to become a registered nurse. This was fully sponsored by CGH.
Now a nurse under CGH's Community PsychoGeriatric Programme (CPGP), he has been making regular home visits to elderly people with mental disorders such as dementia.
He also conducts mental health training for CGH's external service partners such as step down facilities and nursing homes.
On being a male nurse, Mr Sahnan said: "I don't face much stigma.
"As there are more and more male nurses, I don't feel like there are many differences between a male nurse and a female nurse.
"The only difference is that (male nurses) predominantly take care of male patients."
Nursing can be a tiring job, but Mr Sahnan still finds ways to relax.
"I hang out with my friends. I also like baking because it relaxes me."
"The only difference is that (male nurses mainly) take care of male patients."
- Senior Staff Nurse Sahnan on the difference between male and female nurses.