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Covering all the health care bases

November 13, 2018

Singaporean nursing student Muhammad Taufiq Bin Abd Razak or Toffee, for short, has moved light years away from his early ambition to become an aerospace engineer. Instead, after finishing school, he accepted an offer to study nursing and now hopes to one day be a clinical educator. But for now he is keen to learn as much as he can about various areas of nursing including aged care. Toffee is one of six students, studying a Diploma of Nursing at Singapore’s Nanyang Polytechnic, who have been on gerontology placement at Liscombe House, OCAV’s aged care facility.

Toffee, 25, first did enrolled nursing and worked for two years in the Singapore General Hospital’s sub-acute ward. He also worked for two years as a medical orderly. Nursing and caring for people ‘grew on him’ and he decided to study for his Diploma and is in the final months of the three-year degree.

“I no longer want to be an engineer because I have become passionate about nursing. I enjoy getting to know my patients, hearing their stories and doing the best I can to make a difference to their lives,” Toffee said.

He has certainly had the chance to learn a lot about aged care nursing at Liscombe House. It is the second year a group of students has completed their gerontology placement at OCAV in partnership with La Trobe University. It is an eye opener for the students because the nursing of ageing people happens more in a hospital setting in Singapore.

“I like here the way older people who cannot live in their own homes can be cared for in a place that tries to be more like their home than like a hospital,” Toffee said. “Here at Liscombe House the staff know the residents and their story and there is more to their care than just the clinical side of nursing.”

Toffee plans to use a lot of what he has learnt at Liscombe House when he has the opportunity, but hopes the next stage of his career will take him into a new area. He wants to get a job, once he graduates, in an acute hospital and specialise in emergency care.

Shaaron Robilliard, OCAV’s Director of Nursing & Quality Manager, said the Singaporean students added an important dimension to the day-to-day care offered to residents at Liscombe House. She said the students were rotated across all care units and diversional therapy.

“What stood out are the relationships that the students and residents developed with each other. The residents enjoy having the students, especially the male residents who like talking about the history and culture of Singapore with the students. For some residents it was having an extra staff member available who could hold their hand because that’s what that resident needed at that time,” Shaaron said.

Dorothy Clayton has felt very much ‘at home’ since she moved into Braeside Park nine years ago. Now, Dorothy, the village’s volunteer pastoral care worker, tries to ensure that others also feel a sense of belonging in the Berwick village.

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