In Conversation with Staff Nurse – Guo Ruimin

To some, the role of a nurse deals primarily with diaper changing or cleaning up patients. This misconception is one that staff nurse Ruimin hopes to dispel. She lets us [...]

To some, the role of a nurse deals primarily with diaper changing or cleaning up patients. This misconception is one that staff nurse Guo Ruimin hopes to dispel. She shares more about her journey to becoming a nurse and the holistic care that she strives to deliver to the day care clients at SPD@Toa Payoh.   

A positive encounter with a nurse as a child inspired Ruimin to become one. Despite the myths that some may hold about nursing, Ruimin was determined to provide quality care to aid patients in their recovery journey one day.  

Since then, she had worked hard to fulfil her childhood aspiration, and it has been over a decade since she joined the profession.  

From working in the ICU to community care 

She first started out as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a hospital in China. The experience working in an acute setting and fast work pace had prepared her well to deal with emergency situations, skills that she put to good use in her current role. 

A group of elderly clients paying attention to Ruimin while she explains the group activity
Ruimin and her team conducting a group activity with the elderly clients at SPD@Toa Payoh 

“Some people think that nurses only work in hospitals and that nursing is primarily about diaper changing or cleaning up patients. But nursing is more than that,” she shared.  

“Nurses take on a holistic approach when supporting clients physically and emotionally in their recovery process, be it in the hospitals or community care facilities.”  

Serving mostly elderly clients who are wheelchair users and have different medical conditions, Ruimin’s role at SPD@Toa Payoh is certainly a dynamic one. 

Ruimin assisting a elderly client

“I assist the clients with their medical needs such as wound dressing, medication preparation and most importantly, educating them on health and lifestyle issues,” she said. 

Working with elderly clients also meant that Ruimin needs to look out for signs of dementia to ensure that the appropriate intervention is rendered in a timely manner.  

“Some of our clients with dementia may have depression, anxiety, behaviour disorder or a high fall risk. Having the correct diagnosis can help to tailor the intervention accordingly,” she shared. 

“For instance, clients who are depressed may be offered psychosocial interventions, while the team will make dementia-friendly adjustments to their approach and environment for clients with dementia.” 

“SPD is like a big family to me” 

Besides services for the elderly, the wide range of programmes that SPD offer to a diverse group of clients was what drew Ruimin to SPD eight years ago.

Ruimin waving and smiling for the camera
An avid supporter of SPD’s initiatives, Ruimin often volunteer her skills as a first aider at events such as the SPD Ability Walk and Run. 

The nurturing environment and supportive culture are also what Ruimin cherish. To her, the team at SPD@Toa Payoh is one strong pillar that she counts on. 

A group of Ruimin's colleagues at a corporate event
Ruimin and her team from SPD@Toa Payoh 

“SPD is like a big family to me. When I was quarantined during the pandemic, my colleagues and SPD’s management extended their support and help, which I am very grateful for,” she said. 

Despite many years in the field, her passion to serve has never dwindled.  

“Working in the social service sector is fulfilling. What kept me going is the smile on my clients’ faces. No matter how small we think the help rendered may be, it could have made a difference to them. And that is why I continue to do what I do.”