Matthew Uy (許澤囡) of CKS high school batch 2002 has been working as a Registered Nurse, Specialized in Wound/Ostomy/Continence (NSWOC) at the General Surgery Department of Toronto General Hospital in Canada since 2008.
With some of elective surgeries cancelled by their hospital, Matthew has also been tasked to handle other non-Covid patients from other nursing units, so that other nurses can exclusively take care of COVID patients coming in. But even in Canada, the health care industry has seen drastic changes due to the pandemic and they, too, has experienced constant updating of policies and procedures as COVID evidence-based practices are also constantly evolving. Due to this, Matthew and his colleagues are all getting cross-trained for re-deployment to other nursing units, updating their skills to better prepare them for the expected COVID influx in the near future.
On a personal note, Matthew has been hypervigilant with what he touches with his hands, his face, and his clothes. While his current nursing unit is not exclusively dedicated to COVID cases, their standard precaution still includes wearing surgical mask at all times and doing a lot of hand sanitizing. And if they do get suspected cases, they don up PPE, which also includes gowning and face shields on top of the precaution they are doing.
After work, he switches to his outdoor clothes and carefully bags his nursing scrubs and throws them into the washer once he gets home.
He noted how Chiang Kai Shek College has made him well-prepared during these difficult tines, with resilience, respect, and civility coming into play.
First, his job during these challenging times entails being resilient and mentally preparing for the days ahead. Second, it requires respecting the decisions of those in authority and experts as they implement evidence-based interventions to reduce infections, despite the discomfort he might face. Finally, he maintains civility in times of heightened tensions, be it in the local workplace, local politics, and the broader geopolitics around the world. He noted that people will have differing opinions to the contrary and sometimes it is best to agree together in disagreement.
Matthew and his wife just had their second child, a four week old daughter. He makes sure to do all necessary precautions so that he is really clean, hygienic, and safe as he admits not wanting to miss the hugs and kisses he gives to his kids as well as being on the receiving end of it. He considers himself blessed that he and his colleagues are well supported in their workplace, having appropriate amount of PPE and having a transparent leadership and accountability. Most important, he is steadfast on his belief that God is in control and he casts all his cares in Him.
Jokingly, he complained not being able to enjoy his sips of iced coffee throughout his shift as the PPE is difficult to remove and is not recommended to be removed frequently to prevent contamination. In terms of work difficulty, he said it is the constant need to have presence of mind whenever he touches anything with his hands or clothing.
As a concerned CKSian now residing and working on a distant country, he reminded his fellow alumni not forget their neighbors during these difficult times. "Volunteer to help the vulnerable, support your local community and support local businesses. I hope my fellow CKSians would support local leaderships by keeping them accountable and encouraging them to do good governance.", he added.
That's our hardworking and cheerful nurse from Toronto, Matthew Uy. Keep up the good work and be safe always!