Nowadays, the name “Saint Mark’s Hospital” may be an obscure memory for most Singaporeans. Not so for our featured Caregiver, retired Staff Nurse and midwife Lyn Wong, who once worked at the Telok Kurau health care institution. Read more after the jump!
Originally from Hong Kong, Lyn was trained as a nurse in London before moving south to the seaside town of Worthing, and later traveled back to Asia to settle in Singapore in the mid 1970s. Her first job was at Saint Mark’s Hospital, formerly known as Paglar Maternity and Nursing Home. Over time, this place changed hands and became known as the American Hospital, East Shore Hospital, and currently Parkway East Hospital.
Meanwhile, Lyn was developing her nursing career in the hospitals of Singapore, including a stint in a private hospital. Owing to the demands of family life such as caring for her own children, Lyn moved into private nursing for about 20 years, before rejoining the School Health Services. Lyn's even worked as a hotline operator guiding panicky new mothers over telephone on how to prepare formula milk and at the same time handle their newborns! Lyn has also handled administrative challenges as a home care coordinator, as well as trainer for home care assistants, for a handicapped welfare organization. Lyn has also worked as a Staff Nurse in a private Ear, Nose and Throat clinic, and also assisted in a care center in Chinatown, where she has conducted health screenings, exercise sessions, talks and classes, home visits within Chinatown, and also helped handle their dementia day care center. Lyn is also an advocate, drawing on her corporate experience to help the health authorities man a hotline helping women to prepare themselves and find a clinic for a smooth, trauma-free first-time mammogram experience.
Overall, Lyn has gone through a full variety of foreground and background work, whether hands-on or administratively, with a broad field of experience. Lyn has experience in working with people with demetia, which makes her a reliable care companion for dementia patients.
Some of the elderly Lyn has assisted, still keep in touch with her. She recalled one of them, G, a public assistance recipient, who used to live with a (now-deceased) relative. G had nasopharyngeal cancer but initially refused hospital treatment. She only went for Traditional Chinese Medicine until the tumor got bigger and she had to go for radiotherapy. Eventually, G had to feed herself by pouring milk directly into a hole cut into her stomach every few hours, and medicated herself the same way. This included pulverizing and preparing the appropriate medical doses herself. "She is wonderful," Lyn said. G was initially enthusiastic about going to a nursing home but later refused because people told her negative stories. Nowadays, though G gets lonely, she's content with being on her own as she treasures her independence and freedom. "She has done very well," Lyn pointed out because “in Chinatown, many have passed on”.
These days, Lyn keeps herself busy as a medical escort for ambulatory patients, and also carries out related work ranging from wound dressing to general accompaniment services. “Many people just need someone to keep an eye on their elderly,” she pointed out. Lyn stays away from invasive procedures such as inserting nasogastric tubes because industry standards frequently change. Lyn is one of CGA’s “CG50” ambassadors and we wish her the very best in her future endeavors. Lyn is open to engagements - click the button below!
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