Working in a public healthcare institution is physically, mentally and psychologically demanding. Those who stay on and thrive do it because of passion, and because they resonate with our strong sense of purpose. The pandemic years have been exceptionally trying and certainly put us to the test. It also brought out the best in our people, many of whom went above and beyond to care for our patients, keep the hospital running, and to support the nation’s larger healthcare needs. From before the pandemic, it was clear that we have come this far because of our people.
They are precious to us and we will not stop at doing our best for them. While we take our work seriously, we want you to be serious about being kind and taking care of yourselves too. And also be serious about having fun!
LighterNotes takes 5 with SAM who is back from a sabbatical and has been spotted around the SGH Campus.
LighterNotes (LN): Hi SAM, welcome back! Many of us missed you. Have always wanted to ask you - why is your name spelt all in capital letters?
SAM: Hello, it is great to be back! Well, SAM is an acronym for my real name – Staff Appreciation Mascot.
LN: Ahh. So what exactly do you do?
SAM: I love bringing cheer to my fellow colleagues who find me absolutely adorable. Many have told me I brighten up their day because I always have a smile on my face and offer a happy wave. I also have lots of fun testing out the latest initiatives to enhance staff well-being like being the guinea pig to try out the newest massage chairs, arcade machines and vending machines!
Taking a break at the Wellness Enclave inside the Staff Lounge at Blk 6 Level 9
LN: What is your favourite spot on Campus?
SAM: Can only choose one? There are too many wonderful places on Campus! When I am feeling tired, I head up to the Wellness Enclave inside the Staff Lounge at Blk 6 Level 9 where I can put my feet up and rest. While I am there, I can also try to beat the high scores on the arcade machines, and fill my tumtum with some hot food and snacks from the vending machines exclusive for staff’s use. If the weather is nice, the many green spaces around Campus are lovely too! The Bicentennial Garden is my new favourite garden because it’s got a bit of everything – fragrant flowers, fruit trees with delicious looking fruits, and even an edible section where I have to fight the temptation to pluck some home.
LN: Sounds like you have a really fun role. Are there any challenges or things you do not like about your job?
SAM: As you know, I love meeting my fellow colleagues. However, there are certain places that I cannot enter because none of the N95 masks fit me
L I also cannot do hand hygiene as the alcohol rubs hurt my hands. So for the safety of our colleagues and patients, I need to stay away from clinical areas and remind our colleagues to do hand hygiene after shaking my hand.
LN: How do you stay so cheerful always? Don’t you have bad days too?
SAM: When I have an unpleasant encounter, I remind myself that it is often not personal. I also make it a point to make time for self-care and spread as much kindness as I can. It really doesn’t take very much to be kind; a simple greeting, asking someone how they are doing, and saying “Thank you” go a long way. The many resources on Infopedia also provide very useful tips and ideas on how to improve my own wellbeing.
LN: Before we let you go back to your cheery job, is there anything you would like to say to your fellow colleagues?
SAM: Stay safe, stay happy and take care!
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