Making The Case For Longer Studies

Recently there’s been talk about the Malaysian Nursing Board phasing out the Diploma in Nursing programme. As a result, soon all future nursing students that want to practice the profession in the country has to complete a four-year degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).

Many parties have been very vocal about this, citing that many nurses cannot afford the extra costs it takes to study for four years instead of the usual two for a diploma. Some students get into nursing for that reason; it offers a quick pathway to work in a respectable profession, without the added burden of a pre-university programme after completion of secondary school.

While I understand that some nurses have to support their families ASAP, I’m here to argue that there is a hidden benefit to all nurses being required to do their degree in order to be registered practitioners.

That benefit is the extra 2-4 years of age that nurses have upon graduation.

Older… Wiser?

A few days ago there was news of a 19-year old girl who will become the youngest medical doctor in Malaysia this year. The prodigy completed her secondary education at the age of 14, enrolling straight into an Australian pre-U programme, followed by medical school.

While I applaud her achievements (it is nothing to make light of), for the rest of us entering the healthcare workforce at 19 is not the best of ideas.

A doctor fresh out of medical school at the age of 25 is six years older than 19, and will have six years of extra life experiences that will make him or her relate better to patients.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges. There are unexpected obstacles from patients, their relatives, and colleagues that are difficult to circumnavigate without emotional maturity. When these are not handled well they lead to burnouts and depression.

Forcing the degree programme for nurses rather than diploma grants student nurses extra time to prepare themselves. Most of the time, maturity comes with age. Being a nurse (or a doctor for that matter) is an arduous endeavor in itself. There will be times when you have to react to difficult situations requiring you to make a choice. Maturity grants the wisdom to make the right ones.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges.

Being sure about oneself

As a patient, you would want nurses or doctors who are sure of themselves for your treatment. You want those who believe in what they do and believe in the importance of their work. Not the reluctant ones.

It is common for healthcare practitioners to leave the profession within the first 5 years of working. An extra few years of study provides the extra time to contemplate on whether this career path is really for them or not. This creates better rounded nurses and doctors.

Better clinicians

Better rounded nurses and doctors, who can find the balance between their personal growth and career, make for better clinicians. They are more likely to innovate and push medicine forward. This is why countries like the US and Sweden require prospective medical school students to have a Bachelor’s degree beforehand. These countries have the most number of medical innovations in history.

Removal of bad habits

Better rounded nurses and doctors make for better clinicians.

For nurses, making BSN degrees mandatory in order to be registered means an addition 4-5 years of study; 1-2 years for a pre-university course (like STPM) and another 4 years for the degree. Contrast this with immediately hopping on the diploma programme for two years after school.

The work involved to obtain a degree is very hard. It can only be done by being mentally sound, organized, and effective. These habits are not necessarily attained in school.

An older nursing graduate has more time to become a better, organized person; to know her strong points, faults, breaking points, things she cannot do, and learn how to deal with them knowing that a harder road lies ahead.



Other Articles


 Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of résumés in their search for a potential hire, so making a great résumé can result in a good first impression. 

 Traditionally, résumés have been blocky, information-dense pieces of paper that you send out to employers you’re checking out. With the advancements in personal computing, software and printing, people have been more and more creative with how they craft their résumé’s. 

 The more traditional approach can look more professional and neat, but a creative approach can often help you stand out from the crowd. Choose a method that best presents you in a positive light. 

 Before you write your résumé 

 Before you write down your résumé, sit down and take note of what you’ve done. Any interesting projects taken? Achievements? List it down. 

 Also verify the dates of your education background. It can be easy to forget, especially if you’ve left your academic studies for a long time. Also try and find out the full course or programme names of your certificates, degrees, doctorates. 

 Doing great things lead to a great résumé. Take up as many opportunities as possible that can be put on a résumé, like volunteer work, teaching, skills training, etc. 

 The traditional approach 

 Easy way: Use a predefined template from Word, Pages, or Docs. 

  Tools needed: A PC, tablet, or smartphone.  

 This is as simple as it gets: 

 
	 Open the word processor, and select from the list of templates given. 
	 You can add, remove, or move around certain sections which do not pertain to you. 
	 For example, for a fresh graduate, your education background would come above your work experience because the former is more important at that stage of life. Vice versa for those already working. 
	 Want more templates? Check out  https://r  ésumégenius.com/résumé-templates . 
 

 Normal way: Build it from scratch. 

  Tools needed: PC, tablet, smartphone. Word editing software needed.  

 Building your résumé from scratch allows you to customize every single aspect of that you can present to your future employer. 

 Start by writing down your info. Be concise, truthful, and accurate. 

 Then  add your work experience , or educational background. As previously mentioned, this depends on whether you’re still studying or have already worked. Put it in reverse-chonological order; meaning the latest job first, and the first job last. Same with education. 

  Add in your skills.  It helps employers a lot if you could put in the degree of proficiency. To keep it simple, just rate it from 1-5. For example, ANSYS = ⅘ , SolidWorks = ⅗, verbal communication ⅗, and so on. Some skills to add include software (ANSYS, SPSS), or equipment handling (telemetry, ECG, cardiographs). 

  Don’t forget to add in your language ability.  When working in sectors like healthcare, where you deal with a diverse set of people (especially in multi-cultural Malaysia!) it helps to be bi- or trilingual. Employers love that. 

 Now that you’ve added all you have to add, start by styling the text appropriately. A good rule to follow is to enlarge each point by a few titles, then bold it, so the reader can quickly skim through your résumé. 

  Ensure there is enough spacing.  Think of whitespace as breathing room. You want your text to be able to breathe in order to be legible. A cramped document is not fun to read. 

 Add in the headers and footers. A good use of headers would be your  name and contact number , in 9-pt font. Employers often put your résumé in a stack, and putting something to identify you there would help a great deal. You can put a page number on the footer for continuity purposes. 

 View over the entire document. Ensure the margins are properly aligned. Is the font legible? Clear? Then head over to save and print it out. You’re done! 

 The creative approach 

 With easy application processes from job portals like MIMS Career, employers now are as equally likely to read your résumé in a digital format, on a screen. 

 This allows for some creativity, as current screens can now reproduce millions of colors, in different shapes and sizes. 

 Remember not to overdo a creative design; keep it subtle, keep it clean, and keep the information legible. 

 Easy way: Use an online résumé builder. 

  Tools needed: PC, with keyboard and mouse recommended. An internet connection is important.  

 My favorite résumé builder is, by far,  Novorésumé . 

 Very intuitive controls. A good degree of customization available. 

 Their presets are killer design. They’ve matched out complementary colors in each of their templates so you don’t have to. They’re all subtle, yet sophisticated. Clean, yet intricate. 

 It’s also multi-lingual, so you can craft your Bahasa Malaysia résumé in it as well. 

 Have a look at Elon Musk’s résumé, generated by Novorésumé. It’s simple, packed, and most importantly, eye-catching. It already looks superior compared to a lot of the résumés we have seen. It also proves that you don’t need many pages to list down your info, despite being one of the world’s most successful visionaries. 

   

 There are also other résumé builders online:  Reed  is one of them. Just do a Google search, you’ll eventually find out with layouts or usability that you really like. 

 The Normal way: Design it yourself! 

  Tools: PC, Keyboard + Mouse, Drawing tablets optional, PhotoShop/Illustrator/Any online sketching tool.  

 To do this, you might need some additional skills with illustration software. 

 The idea is to create a layout that draws attention but doesn’t compromise on information legibility. 

 You can have a look at great designs from dribbble.com, a site where great designers like to post their work. Have a look at the ones you like, and determine what you like about them and incorporate them into your design. It’s good inspiration. 

  You need to keep in mind 4 things:  

  Typography  

 
	 Use 15-25px only. A too large text-size can look goofy and awkward. 
	 Like a kids book. Use a big font for headlines, and employ a low font weight. Like Helvetica or Lato. 
	 Since you’re sending this over the web, and it will be read on screen, go for a sans-serif font for easier legibility. 
 

  Colors  

 
	 Use only one base color. A résumé with too many colors will make it look amateur and is a pain to see. In the end, your résumé is an official document used to represent you in a good light. 
	 Never choose black for your base color. Black never appears in the real world. It is sombre, demure, and lacks energy. 
	 It is always a bad idea to use black for anything that is to be displayed on-screen, other than text. 
 

  Icons  

 
	 Icons can help increase aesthetic features and help you stand out. 
	 Use icons that are recognizable, like a suitcase for work experience, a graduation hat for education, etc. 
	 I recommend the use of icon fonts. They are scalable at various dpi on-screen. 
 

  Whitespace layout  

 
	 Whitespace is space where there’s no stuff. 
	 Use it to define hierarchy by putting some space between your education, work, skills, and information sections. 
	 Use that whitespace to build flow for the résumé reader. 
 

 Conclusion 

 That’s it! It all depends on how much time and effort you can put in to your résumé. Remember to keep it simple, accurate info, and not too long; 2 pages should be the absolute maximum. 

 You what would be a great use of that résumé? Use it when applying for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia with our job portal,  MIMS Career .. A lot of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare practitioners have been using the service, and many of them have landed the jobs at the location they’ve always wanted. Signup and apply now using our 1-click application feature. It’s fast, safe, and free. Any problems? Email us at mycareer@mims.com for more inquiries.

How to Write a Great Resumé

Résumé’s (also known as CVs) are great. They sumarize your experiences onto a few pages so your employer can quickly get a sense of who you are before hiring you. However, employers have to go through a lot of...

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 Technological developments continue to improve well into the 21st century, bringing in advancements in surgical care. By extension, the responsibilities of the registered nurse that assists in patient care in the operating room/theater need to keep up with the times. 



 Definition: 

 These nurses who have more specialized duties in the OT/OR are called perioperative nurses. The word “peri-” is Greek for “about”, or “around”, “enclosing.” Just think of the word “perimeter. Hence, “perioperative nursing” means the care of a patient before, during, and after a surgical procedure. 



 Duties: 

 Typically, perioperative nurses fall into two categories: 

  Scrub nurse  - These nurses select and pass surgical instruments to the surgeon during the operation. He/she might also assist in the procedure. 

  Circulating nurse  - This kind of nurse manages the operating room. She ensures the place is safe for the patient and operating staff. 

  Anaesthetic nurse  - Provides support to the anaesthetist during or before the procedure. Duties include preparing the equipment, and administering anaesthesia to the patient in a safe manner. 

  Holding bay nurse  - this term might be called differently in other countries. The holding bay nurse is responsible to bring the patient up to speed in the pre-perioperative environment. She is also responsible for all the information to be correct prior to procedure, such as fasting status, reports, and medication. 

  Post-surgery Recovery Nurse  - As the name indicates, this nurse cares for the patient immediately after surgery. Tasks such as ensuring patient’s airways are open, recording results, are the norm. 

  It is common for a single perioperative nurse to carry two or three of the aforementioned duties during a patient’s course of the surgery.  



 Education: 

 A post-basic certification is needed in order to qualify one to take up perioperative duties. The duration of the post-basic training might be within 1-2 years. Nurses undergoing training are exposed to surgical care, intensive care, and treatment of critically ill patients.  

 Most post-basic programs require 3-4 years of work experience as a registered nurse beforehand.  



 Workload and Working Conditions: 

 Surgical procedures can be very long. Moreover, complications can sometimes occur, further delaying the endpoint of the surgery. 

 Perioperative nurses are expected to be alert of the patients’ vitals during the post-surgical state to monitor any signs of abnormalities. 

 Working hours may differ across institutions. A small clinic specializing in aesthetic surgery might have more regular hours, compared to a teaching hospital that has multiple wards. 

 Work conditions and intensity also depend on the severity and complexity of the patient’s surgery. 



 Opportunities in Perioperative Nursing 

 Like most areas of nursing, job opportunities continue to grow. This specialization is expected to grow at a high rate as more institutions begin to provide surgical procedures. 

 The additional training provided to nurses with perioperative backgrounds can open many career doors. In the future, they will be able to function as OT directors, handle fiscal matters, and other managerial aspects of the operating theater. 

 With some more experience, nurses can proceed to becoming academicians or educators, as well as go into research. 

  Read more on advancing your nursing career into nursing education HERE.  

 Salary and income  
Nurses with specialization (such as perioperative nursing) stand to earn higher than the national average of nurses’ income. However, it is subject to location and healthcare institution facilities. 

 For those in the public sector, you have a high chance of being put in a higher grade. 

  Read more on how nurses can increase their income HERE.  



 Source: 

  https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/perioperative/46/guidance/nc1/perioperative-nursing/563/  

  http://www.mayo.edu/mayo-clinic-school-of-health-sciences/careers/perioperative-nursing  

 Search for high-paying perioperative nursing jobs here at  MIMS Career . Sign up and apply today with our safe, secure, and free site. MIMS Career is an extensive job portal for healthcare practitioners such as nurses, doctors, and dentists throught Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

 Browse through our vast directory of job vacancies by top healthcare employers. See any jobs you like? Apply with one click, or save it for later if you need some time to think about it.  

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up an email alert, and we’ll notify you when a job vacancy that meets your desired criteria becomes available.

Career Highlight: Perioperative Nursing

Technological developments continue to improve well into the 21st century, bringing in advancements in surgical care. By extension, the responsibilities of the registered nurse that assists in patient care in the operating room/theater need...

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 A close relative of mine is a young nurse. Two years ago she started taking care of this nice lady who was partially paralysed; her breathing muscles would no longer function autonomously, hence a tracheostomy was done so she could breathe. The condition left her bed-ridden on bad days, and wheel-chair bound on good ones.   

 She cared for the lady to the best of her abilities, for about 18 months. One day the lady started feeling cold. She was sweating and shivering at the same time. She went unconscious, and had five cardiac arrests within 36 hours.  

 After unsuccessfully trying to stabilize her blood pressure, she died of heart failure.   The young nurse was devastated. It wasn’t her own mother, but it might as well seemed like it. It was her first patient death while working as a nurse. It affected her so much she found it difficult to work for the next week.   

 This experience is shared by many nurses in the country.   How nurses bond with their patients depends on circumstances and the length of time they provided care to them. A strong bond between patient and nurse is essential to effective nursing, but when death happens, it can deal a very significant blow.   

 The first death of your patient can massively impact you as a nurse. So will subsequent ones.    

 It is extremely important that this doesn’t mentally compromise your ability to do your work. 

 How can you, as a nurse, deal with it? 



 1. It’s okay to feel emotions. Embrace it fully. 

 You are human. You are in a compassionate profession: the very basis of nursing started on the principle to relieve pain, assuage suffering, and provide help to those of ailing health.  

 It is okay to feel overwhelmed at first, especially when you have cared for the patient for so long. 

 Empathy is good for your job, it makes you a better nurse, but it makes loss more painful.  

 Allow yourself some time to feel, and understand your emotions. 

 Your line of work is to care for people, the noblest of all human traits. Your grief on the death of your patient means that you have done your job. 

 2. Try to accept the death happened. 

 Some wards have it harder than others for this. 

 A geriatric ward would have the oldest, most needy patients. Conducting CPR on these patients can be cruel, especially if you or your team are not willing to “let go” of the patient. 

 However, death in these parts of the hospital would be a routine part of the day. It is wise to accept it, so you can continue giving out the best care to the other still-living patients without letting it affect the quality of your work. 

 Accept their deaths, and the fact that you have done all you could to alleviate their suffering. Know that you have done your best to keep them comfortable and retain their dignity. 

 3. Remain in control and neutral if breaking the news to the family. Don’t add to the problem. 

 It is okay to share your emotions with the patient’s loved ones. 

 Respect the family; if they do not wish you to partake in their grief, then kindly leave them alone. They have also gone through much, just like you. 

 Some relatives will blame the doctor/nurse for causing the death. Don’t take this to heart. The Kubler-Ross model of grief lays out five stages, and anger is one of them.  
Find your own ways to vent, either through support groups, family, or colleagues. 

 4.  Talk about it. Don’t bottle it in. 

 One of the best things about being in the nursing workforce is that you’re surrounded by people who have gone through similar experiences too. 

 Death is prevalent amongst healthcare professions, and sometimes just talking to a senior can help a lot. 

 Find someone you’re comfortable with. It can be a senior nurse, a matron, or even your other colleagues in the ward. 

 Ask them how they managed to overcome such periods of distress. Pour out whatever you’re feeling to them; it is very likely that they have felt everything you are feeling right now. 

 Talking about it helps you make sense of what you’re feeling. By articulating it into words, you can pinpoint exactly what’s bothering you, and help you to come to terms. 



 5. Realize that these things happen. 

 Things happen. Death is part and parcel of the life in a hospital. Some areas will be more prone to dealing with death than others, like the ER, surgical ward, the ICU.   
You might find yourself poring over the moments that led up to the death in your mind, going over what you could have done better, what you could have done differently. 

 This leads to a general feeling of guilt. This can be very destructive to your well-being, and can affect the performance of your work to other patient who also need your care. This is not a good coping mechanism if it jeopardizes the health of your other patients. 

 6. Believe that you are making a difference. 

 The death of a patient does not equal to failure. 

 How you deal with the patient’s relatives is an extension of how you treated their late relative. 

 For all the grief that you may be feeling right now, the patient’s family has it harder. 

 Showing that you cared provides a monumental difference, and leads the family to a safer path of acceptance. 



 Conclusion 

 The trait that sets humans apart from other species is our ability to empathize for our fellow brethren. 

 Other fauna have demonstrated this to a certain degree, but only humans have been able to take it to their very core, make it into their reason to live, and deliver it back to their community. 

 Nursing is more than just facts or skills or the amount of certifications that you can obtain to move your career. It is founded on empathy; the ability to understand others’ suffering and pain. 

 During times when you feel overwhelmed or devastated by the loss of your patient, stand firm and be proud of who you are, because nurses do things that not many will have the capacity to accomplish. 

 You will find your way to deal with it as you become more experienced, and become better at learning what is the best way to help families cope with grief over time. 

 Steel your heart, adjust that uniform, and carry on providing the best that you can give to your other patients.

How to Cope with Death and Loss, as A Nurse

A close relative of mine is a young nurse. Two years ago she started taking care of this nice lady who was partially paralysed; her breathing muscles would no longer function autonomously, hence a tracheostomy was done so she could breathe....

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 Our team got to know about this privately-run nursing in a cozy neighborhood of Petaling Jaya. Impresif Home Care is run by a total of 3 nurses, 7 workers and their supervisor. We had the chance to speak to the supervisor, Raja. Raja is a wonderful guy, and based on just a few conversations with him you can really tell that he cares a lot about what goes on in the nursing home and its occupants. 

 Impresif Care Home is looking to hire staff nurses with minimal experience to help with their workload.  Visit their job listing page to apply.  

 
  What is the vision behind your nursing home? How did it come about?  

 The home was a house bought by our founders, En. Mohd Faizal and his wife Pn Zainab. Pn. Zainab was a matron for a big hospital. There she realized that a lot of patients still require care, but since they can’t stay admitted for too long they are discharged. 

 It was disheartening to see that, so she and her husband founded this home. We have been privately funded ever since, and do not rely on donations. 

 We have about 30 occupants, with the age range being from 55 to 90 years old. Some of them have children who are not able to take care of them; it is cheaper to send the parents here for nursing care compared to hiring a nurse who comes to the house, which can be very expensive. Some of the occupants here just do not have anywhere to go… but we are grateful we can still support them here. 

  How is the home culture like? 
 
   

 A lot of people come here to visit, thinking it to be depressed and lonely for the elderly to be here. But it’s actually a lot of fun! Everyone tries their best to be happy. I myself have never been happier in my life, now that I’m working here looking after other people. 

 It’s a relatively slow working lifestyle. We wake the occupants up at 630am, then prepare breakfast, wash, clean them, and take them out for exercise. Those who need parenteral feeding will be fed by our nurses. We have lunch around noon, and then it’s some TV time followed by an afternoon nap. Dinner is at 7, then it’s free and easy. 

 Weekends are a bit busier. Relatives and children come over to visit, and will ask the staff questions like “What medication is he/she on?”, or “How has my father been this week?”, things like that. 

 This is a suitable place for nurses out of nursing school to gain some experience before going on to do their Degrees or Post-Basics. The occupants here are all low-dependency type of patients. 

  What do you do to make your staff happy and enjoy working here?  

 It helps that the elderly are all funny and exciting in their own way. I always get “invited” to any one of the uncles or aunties houses. I’ve worked here for 8 years and I still don’t know where their “houses” are.  laughs  

 The location of the home is very nice and quiet. It has easy access to the Federal Highway and the New Pantai Expressway, so staff can easily get here from all over. It can be tiring at times but not as busy as hospital work, and they get paid well too. 

  What cool pieces of tech do you have in your clinic?  

 Everyone has their own wheelchair! So they can decorate or personalize it to fit their own characters. Some carry small tokens on their wheelchairs to remind them of people or places they used to meet. 

 We have fully adjustable beds like the ones in hospitals for our more needy occupants. 

 Our dispensary is always kept fully-stocked. 

  What kind of people are you looking to hire as your staff?  

 We’re looking for nurses who are patient, hardworking, and with a soft heart for the elderly. Applicant must also be willing to work six days a week, especially on weekends. That’s when we’re the most busy. 

  How does your staff get hired?  

 Our nurses gets hired by Pn. Zainab. She talks to the nurses that is going to work here. It’s not much of a screening; it’s just to get to know who you are as a person and how you’ll do your work. 

 We take our staff from maid agencies, so they’re mostly Indonesian. 

  What does the future of this nursing home look like?  

 We want to keep doing what we do for a long time. We’re looking to increase the number of nurses that we employ to help the current workforce cope better with the workload. At the moment we are looking to hire any qualified nurses, even ones with minimal work experience. We’ll help to guide you in the right direction. 

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Institution Highlight: Impresif Care Nursing Home

Our team got to know about this privately-run nursing in a cozy neighborhood of Petaling Jaya. Impresif Home Care is run by a total of 3 nurses, 7 workers and their supervisor. We had the chance to speak to the supervisor, Raja. Raja is a...

Read More