He once feared the sight of blood

NO FEAR NOW: Mr Khairulddin, 29, is one of 100 nurses from SingHealth who helped to write and produce a book on nursing experiences

As a staff nurse at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), he has to deal with blood every day.

However, even though he can now insert IV plugs with ease, it was not always the case.

Ever since the age of 13, Mr Muhammad Khairulddin Ali, now 29, has been scared of blood.

He is one of 100 nurses from SingHealth, a healthcare group, who helped to write and produce a book on nursing experiences titled Nursing the Heart, which Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen launched yesterday to celebrate 130 years of nursing in Singapore.

Mr Khairulddin has been working at SGH for 10 months, but was an enrolled nurse there from 2011 to March 2012. He said: "Open wounds with blood is what scared me the most. It's like I can feel the pain that person is feeling and I can't take it."

His fear started when he injured himself while playing football with his brother at home when he was 13.

Mr Khairulddin slipped and slammed his shin into the corner of a wall.

"There was a big hole in my shin that was bleeding and I felt a throbbing pain," he said, indicating that the hole was the size of a dollar coin.

He was scared that he would need stitches if he went to a hospital, so Mr Khairulddin just washed the wound with water and bandaged it at home. It took one month to heal completely.

However, when Mr Khairulddin was assigned as a medic during his national service (NS) in 2007, he had to face his fear.

His first call as a medic was for a car accident where a bus had hit two women while turning.

One woman was behind the stopped bus and the other was under the bus.

GORY

"The woman under the bus was crying and said her leg was in incredible pain. When the two paramedics cut away her jeans to get to her leg, her bone was protruding from her shin. It was gory and I had to try my best to block all of my emotions," Mr Khairulddin said.

He helped the woman onto a stretcher and also immobilised her injured leg for the trip to National University Hospital.

Being a medic during NS was what motivated Mr Khairulddin to become a nurse, and he has since got a diploma in nursing from Nanyang Polytechnic.

Mr Khairulddin said: "I had to overcome my fear day by day, and be brave. I had to lock whatever feelings I had to save people's lives."

loteresa@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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