it doesn’t matter if nurses graduated with good grades or top of their nursing cohort.
it doesn’t matter if nurses have a diploma/advanced diploma/bachelor’s/masters/PhD degree in nursing.
it doesn’t matter because when nurses put on the nursing uniform, they are automatically perceived as a “low-skilled worker” *; who only knows how to change patient’s diaper, shower/sponge the patient, serve medications, take vital signs (temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, pain score), follow doctors’ instructions and et cetera.
on top of that, nurses may face demanding patients/patients’ relatives; who talk to them in a condescending manner, at times hurling unnecessary vulgarities/curses (that’s you, Mr Y), and if the nurses are really unfortunate, they become victims of violence (yes, a colleague was kicked right at her chest by a patient).
oh, did we forget, nurses need to take on the dreaded shift: 7am-3:15pm, 1:15pm-9:30pm, as well as the graveyard shift. they work round the clock to alleviate the pain and discomfort of the patients, including those who are abusive towards them.
and in return? nurses get a less than desirable pay… and are labelled as “low-skilled” workers.
so, before the government whines about the lack of nurses (especially local ones) in the country, take a real good look at the way nurses are treated.
* as described in the Population White Paper in Singapore Parliament