Staff Nurse Katie Tan (Gold Award, SHQSA 2023)

Diagnosed with dementia, Mr Tan often has difficulty remembering things, including Staff Nurse Katie Tan’s name — often referring to her as ‘missy’ or ‘the one in white’.

On top of nursing care, Katie made an extra effort to engage with Mr Tan daily, either through various topics of interest or by encouraging him to take part in activities. Engagement with persons with dementia can help to maintain their cognitive function, provide a sense of security and manage any behavioural symptoms.

Initially anxious in an unfamiliar environment, Mr Tan’s mood gradually lifted over time and became more open to communication as their bond grew. The night before his discharge, he asked if she would pour him a cup of his all-time favourite Coca-Cola and sit with him. They enjoyed the drink together, chatting about his family and future plans.

On discharge, Mr Tan gifted Katie a tin of almond biscotti to thank her for taking care of him — with the initials ‘KT’ written on it. He finally remembered her name.

“Patients may not always remember our name, but they will always remember how we made them feel. Despite my relatively new journey in healthcare, I’m honoured to receive recognition for my efforts to deliver quality care to patients. This spurs me on to continue being a source of light for patients in their times of need and touch more lives in the years to come,” said Katie, an ex-business graduate who made a mid-career switch to Nursing in 2021.

Katie received the prestigious Gold Award at the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2023. This year, SLH has won a total of 1 Best Team, 15 Silver and 2 Gold awards. The SHQSA is Singapore’s first dedicated platform to honour outstanding healthcare professionals who have delivered quality care and excellent service to patients.