BY ALSON TAN
"Hello, it's me", I said over the phone while on a call with Senior Staff Nurse (SSN) Adele Woon. I chuckled quietly as I couldn't resist a reference to Adele's namesake - the famous Australian songstress. But I remained equally star struck as I continued my chat with the oncology nurse. Rumour has it that Adele's heart for others is almost unfathomable - vast, with a capacity to care, love and help so many.
Amidst the noise and flurry of NCCS' Ambulatory Treatment Unit, Adele's quietly confident demeanour cuts through the noise. She glides around the clinic quietly, efficiently, pausing to smile and chat with a patient as she prepares an IV drip. Adele is responsible for administering chemotherapy to treat patients with cancer. During these moments, she takes the opportunity to find out how they're coping and give them self-care tips. These range from cleaning their catheters or to manage uncomfortable side effects such as nausea or fatigue. Her caring nature puts patients at ease during this stressful juncture of their treatment.
Adele is very much focussed and present in each moment, but she's also always looking to be the best version of herself. She's currently pursuing a Masters of Nursing programme at the National University of Singapore, where she hopes to advance her knowledge to be a better clinician.
But what Adele does outside of work truly shows her deep sense of care for others and sets her apart as a "one and only". Adele finds fulfilment as an active volunteer with local and overseas humanitarian organisations. This started when she was a nursing student and was part of Youth Expedition Projects in China and Cambodia - where she assisted with health screening and building sanitation facilities for the underdeveloped communities there.
In Singapore, Adele also volunteers with HealthServe, a non-profit organisation set up to provide medical care to underprivileged migrant workers. Adele performs nursing tasks at the clinic, such as wound dressing, blood taking, medication administration and dispensation.
Not only that, but Adele volunteers with the Children's Cancer Foundation as a Befriender. She remembers a special friendship with a four-year-old boy diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, whom she would visit weekly and engage in fun activities, such as art and crafts. It's been almost a year since he succumbed to the illness, but Adele remains in contact with his mother to provide emotional support. To her, all this is part and parcel of "being human" and caring.
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