The Duty-Bound Nurse
Her World Singapore|December 2020
Shahidah was in the Galapagos Islands on a diving-related work trip in January when news about the Covid-19 spread broke. The nurse turned-diving instructor kept an eye on the situation, and when the number of cases kept rising, she knew what she had to do.

ANSWERED A NATION’S CALL FOR HELP AND RETURNED TO SINGAPORE

She packed her bags and headed home to Singapore towards the end of March. Until recently, Shahidah – who left nursing in 2017 – had been based in Koh Tao, Thailand, where she was just beginning her marine conservation instructorship course.

“I knew at some point that Singapore would need more nurses. I could have remained in Koh Tao, which has stayed virus-free even till today, but I wanted to come back and help,” she explains.

Two days after she caught one of the last flights out of Koh Samui, Thailand shut its borders.

Initiating donation drives for migrant workers

While serving her 14-day stay-home notice in her family home, Shahidah sent out applications to locum nursing agencies to get a placement. A week after completing her notice, she was deployed to the community care facility at the Singapore Expo.

She was there for four and a half months, carrying out a wide range of duties, from administrative work to swab tests.

Even though there was a substantial number of patients at the facility (at one point, there were 10 halls open in total, and each hall could accommodate up to 900 patients), she never felt overwhelmed by the round-the-clock care and the gravity of the situation.

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