Indian-origin Kala Narayanaswamy is among five nurses who have been honoured with the President’s Award for Nurses 2020 said the Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore.
2020 also marks the 135 anniversary of nursing in Singapore.
The 59-year-old has been conferred with this, the highest accolade in Singapore’s nursing profession, for serving on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each recipient was awarded a trophy, a certificate signed by Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob and SGD 10,000 (USD 7,228).
“Heartiest congratulations to Deputy Director of Nursing, Ms Kala D / O Narayanasamy for receiving the President’s Award for Nurses 2020,” read the Facebook post by the Woodlands Health Campus.
"Kala has been contributing to Nursing Service in Singapore for the past 40 years. At Woodlands Health Campus, besides planning and developing clinical workflows for the new campus, she has initiated reviews and redefined the roles of nurses and piloted new work processes. Viewed as a role model by many young nurses, Kala is a firm believer in nurturing and grooming future leaders in Nursing," the Woodlands Health Campus said in its post.
As the Deputy Director of Nursing, Kala introduced the use of infection control practices, which she learned during the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak, during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
She did this in the very short time period there was, to put such procedures in place.
Kala also tapped on her SARS experience to introduce workflows and standard operating procedures to convert wards at the Yishun Community Hospital to care for COVID-19 patients.
She has been involved with the modernisation of nursing in Singapore, with her past projects including the implementation of a self-checkout inventory management vending machine to track the usage of items.
She was also involved in the introduction of the use of a streamlined wound assessment process that provides accurate wound measurements and image capture.
Both measures were implemented by the Woodlands Health Campus team at Yishun Community Hospital.
Kala is currently involved with the planning for the Woodlands Health Campus, scheduled to open in 2022, drawing on almost 40 years of experience to lead the development of nursing services for the division of medicine at the campus.
Senior Minister of State, Amy Khor congratulated the award recipients in her Facebook post.
This national award recognises nurses who have shown sustained outstanding performance and contributions to patient care delivery, education, research and administration said MOH in its press release.
The award is open to all registered nurses from healthcare institutions in the public, private, and community care sectors, as well as the educational institutions.
Nurses are nominated by their institutions, public or peers, and interviewed by a panel chaired by Dr Chia Shi-Lum, said MOH
This year’s award recipients include two from acute hospitals, and one each from hospice, national speciality centre and community nursing settings. Of the five recipients, two are Advanced Practice Nurses.
The five recipients are:
- Ms Chin Soh Mun - Director of Nursing, Dover Park Hospice
- Dr Alice Chua Foong Sin - Assistant Director of Nursing, Advanced Practice Nurse, National Cancer Centre Singapore
- Ms Kala D/O Narayanasamy - Deputy Director of Nursing, Woodlands Health Campus
- Ms Tay Yee Kian - Assistant Director of Nursing, Advanced Practice Nurse, Regional Health System Office, National University Health System
- Ms Patricia Yong Yueh Li - Deputy Director of Nursing, Singapore General Hospital
The five 2020 awardees bring the total number of recipients since the inception of the award in 2000 to 77.