As the director of nursing at St Andrew’s Community Hospital, Alison Sim, 60, has had to exercise a huge amount of wisdom in making decisions concerning the COVID-19 situation.

In reducing the likelihood of exposure by carrying out staff segregation and reducing the deployment of staff, she constantly asked herself:

“How do we strike a fine balance, such that we are putting our faith in action yet not being too indifferent or careless? How do we still maintain the standard of care?”

To reduce contact with too many people, she also has had to reduce her visits to three wards per day, compared to the usual 10, leading her to wonder: “How do I still make my presence felt so that the nurses feel I am still there to support and guide them?”

Understanding the stressors

Such are the pressures that nurses in leadership like herself face on a daily basis. Yet, Sim knows that she has an army behind her who fully understands her struggles and is ever ready to cover her in prayer – all she needs to do is send a message.

“Despite the evolving changes, demands and new discoveries, we choose to fall back on our foundation in the Lord.”

This army is the Singapore Nurses Christian Fellowship (SNCF), a group that has banded together for 60 years to lend spiritual and practical support to countless nurses.

Sim, the vice-president of SNCF, is in a WhatsApp chat group comprising nurses from the fellowship who work in the eastern part of Singapore.

“The beauty of SNCF is that all members are trained nurses, so they know the stressors that you go through. If you run into a problem, you can bring it up in the chat group and ask for prayer, and people will respond and reply in encouragement. They are also eager to offer practical help in they can,”

Sim told Salt&Light.

Sim (in pink), with staff from Bethesda Care Services at Medical Social Worker Week. Sim has had to exercise a huge amount of wisdom in decisions concerning the COVID-19 situation. Photo courtesy of Alison Sim.
SNCF’s 2020 executive committee, including president Tan Wee King (first row, third from left), vice-president Alison Sim (second row, fourth from left) Xia Xiang Bing (second row, first from right) and Beatrice Foo (second row, fourth from right). Photo courtesy of SNCF.

She added that the messages being sent in recent times have urged nurses to remain calm and trust in the Lord.

“We have been reminded that there is no need for panic. The Lord is sovereign in every sense. Despite the evolving changes, evolving demands and new discoveries, we have to choose to fall back on our foundation in the Lord. That is our anchor.”

As the nursing landscape continues to evolve, SCNF is in need of God’s grace and wisdom to search out novel ways of connecting and engaging with younger nurses who face different challenges, Tan said.

She hopes the fellowship can continue to exist as “a wellspring of God’s love”, nurturing these nurses’ spiritual health and equipping them to be effective witnesses for Him wherever they are placed.

From Salt & Light Magazine, Singapore.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gracia Lee
Gracia is a journalism graduate who thoroughly enjoys people and words. Thankfully, she gets a satisfying dose of both as a writer at Salt&Light. When she’s not working, you will probably find her admiring nature or playing Monopoly Deal with her little brother.

Gracia Lee

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