Sweating profusely wearing the full personal protective equipment (PPE) set, fogging on the glasses, breathlessness with the masks on, as well as difficulty in manoeuvring with double gloves on – these were what Lai Pei Kuan encountered while helping around in the COVID-19 quarantine centre stationed at the Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya. Nevertheless, nothing could stop the joy Pei Kuan was experiencing while volunteering herself to help in the COVID-19 quarantine centre.
Upon graduation in 2010, she decided to continue her journey in Master of Science (MSc) in Medical and Health Sciences (By Research) at IMU, compelled by her interest in research. She conducted a survey on the level of professional socialisation between the diploma and degree nursing students in Malaysia for her MSc research.
Subsequently in 2016, she also enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Medical and Health Sciences at IMU as well. Her PhD journey, which took four and a half years, was studying on the impact and utilisation of the biomedical research projects on the health policies of Malaysia. She is in her final year now. Currently, she is working as a lecturer under the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI), IMU.
During her Nursing programme at IMU, Pei Kuan gained tremendous knowledge and experience personally and professionally. The strong foundation during her study gave her confidence and resilience in her career journey. The ‘nurse heart’ in Pei Kuan’s recent contribution as a volunteer for COVID-19 team member had proven her passion in nursing.
Last February, Pei Kuan strongly felt the urge to sign up when she came across the recruitment drive for volunteers in fighting for COVID-19 by the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), the Ministry of Health (MOH) Malaysia. She was indeed overjoyed when Dr Nadiah, the doctor-in-charge of the quarantine centre granted her permission to help out during the weekends. Pei Kuan was given the task of assisting the doctors or nurses in taking swab samples from the patients.
Pei Kuan was extremely grateful for this opportunity to be together with other frontliners. She was again reminded of the humbleness and nobleness of being a nurse. Someone used to remind her: once a nurse, is always a nurse! Nursing is a noble profession in which others’ needs are always prioritised. Nothing beats the joy of being able to help or serve people in need, especially the sick. More so, the thrill of seeing sick people healing and getting discharged is the most fulfilling!
Written by Lai Pei Kuan Edited by Yee Bit Lian and Dr Lim Swee Geok