Inspired, they decided to make the switch to nursing
Watching his dad battle pneumonia sparked his decision to change jobs; becoming a caregiver helped her make the switch
Three years ago, Mr Zaid Rahmat's father died of pneumonia and it left a profound impact on him.
"It was a traumatic experience for our family," Mr Zaid, 34, told The New Paper. "But as my father was transferred between wards, I was struck by the care from the nurses."
Their kindness lit the spark for him to become a nurse.
He took up the professional conversion programme (PCP) for registered nurses last year.
With that, Mr Zaid, a former civil servant with a degree in real estate, became one of 1,900 individuals who joined the healthcare industry mid-career since 2003.
The government would like more to do so, and plans to open up 900 training places over the next three years for mid-career switchers entering nursing and allied health roles, Minister of Manpower Josephine Teo said yesterday.
Mr Zaid's interest in nursing was also sparked by his two older female cousins. He noticed how they applied their nursing knowledge in their daily lives, and that became even more relevant when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. They were also able to help Mr Zaid and his mother understand the various treatments and medications.
Mr Zaid will graduate from the National University of Singapore's Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies in July next year, and he hopes to become an emergency department nurse when he joins Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.
Like Mr Zaid, Ms Tey Poh Choo, 47, was also inspired to become a nurse through a family experience.
She was an administrative and accounting executive in a construction company when her mother began having issues with walking and hypertension.
Ms Tey learnt how to be a caregiver, and later realised that by becoming a nurse, she could also be gainfully employed.
Ms Tey completed her PCP in 2018 and became an enrolled nurse at Changi General Hospital.
She works in the surgical ward, helping patients with tasks like feeding and showering. She also speaks to them regularly to see if they have concerns.
Ms Tey said: "I now have the knowledge to take care of the elderly... My mother also talks me up to her friends and tells them I can provide medical advice."