I am indeed proud to be part of this big family.
Life is like a journey filled with lessons along the way - challenges, sacrifices and pain that one has to face. However, along with them come joy, triumph, hope and love. My role in the Food Service department is to oversee patient meals and cater for hospital events. All in a day’s work for my team of 70 colleagues involved in whipping up about 2,100 patient meals a day to cater to patients with a multitude different conditions and dietary requirements.
Even before Covid-19 hit Singapore, our team has to cope with a much higher patient load and every day was a battle to prepare patients’ meals timely. Days get particularly busy when we have more catering requests to fulfill. When Covid-19 struck, my team had to provide food for our frontline colleagues who were busy fighting the crisis. Our workload went up by at least 3 folds overnight. This unexpected surge sent all of us scrambling. We had to review our resources and processes in order to meet all the demands. Things were tough and many of us had to commence our day as early as 5.30am. By the time we get off work, it was almost evening. There are times, we were so busy that we had no time to have our meals.
Due to the evolving situation, urgent meal requests have become a norm in our daily work. There was once Emergency Department needed an extra 100 packets of meals for our patients. I could remember the anxious look on my chef’s face, but everyone stepped up to help, regardless of rank and experience. While Chef and his team were busy cooking, my team and I chipped in to pack the food. We managed to deliver the food within 30 minutes and our colleagues were very appreciative of our efforts.
Having gone through the transition from Alexandra Hospital to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital in 2015, I could empathise with the stress and struggles that my colleagues had to handle. Seeing how my team was having a hard time, I would create humour in the midst of our work to encourage them or order food to let them have a quick bite whenever they could. It was my way of letting my colleagues know that we are in this together. Although there were only a few short seconds of laughter, it was a good break and everyone instantly felt better. As the saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine”. I am glad that my sense of humour has brought out the best in my team during challenging times. My colleague, Chef Choo always says, “It’s very easy to look for Pei Ling. When she’s around, the office is like a wet market. If the office is a dead town, you will know Pei Ling is not around.”
Because of the strong camaraderie that we share, we were able to support each other and pull through the daily challenges of work and life. I am indeed proud to be part of this big family.
Kang Pei Ling
About Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) are members of the National University Health System (NUHS), a leading academic health system and one of three public healthcare clusters in Singapore.
Known as the JurongHealth Campus, NTFGH and JCH are Singapore’s first integrated healthcare development designed and built together from the ground up. Designed around the patients’ needs, the twin development enables NTFGH patients who no longer require acute care to be easily transferred to rehabilitate and recuperate in JCH. Both hospitals are also managed by one healthcare team to facilitate integration at all levels to enable better patient care, greater efficiency and convenience. NTFGH is also the first in Singapore and ASEAN to attain HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, with JCH at HiMSS EMRAM Stage 6 – an achievement which recognises hospitals with the highest level of adoption and utilisation of electronic medical record functions.
As part of an integrated academic health system, NTFGH and JCH, in collaboration with partners in the healthcare continuum, aims to transform healthcare to deliver holistic and seamless patient-centred care.
For more information, please visit www.ntfgh.com.sg | www.jch.com.sg | www.nuhs.edu.sg
Delivering ‘Incredible care and health, together!’