Nur Shafiqah Hamdan
Felda scholar has enriching experience at Nilai U
Nur Shafiqah Hamdan admits that she was first attracted to the idea of becoming a nurse through movies and television series. But two real-life incidences greatly influenced this Felda scholar’s decision. The first was watching nurses at the neighbourhood government clinic administer emergency treatment for her young sibling who had come down with an extremely high fever. "I was just 13 then and since my policeman dad was posted outstation, I had to send my baby sister to the clinic on a motorbike through a raging thunderstorm. Her extremities had turned blue," she recalls. However, the quick attention given by the nurses managed to stabilise her baby sister's condition. "I realised then the important role of nurses as their quick attention and treatment helped stabilise my sister's condition even before the doctor treated her," she notes.
A few years later, yet another sibling had injured herself and the wound had turned septic. "Everyone including my mum was to grossed out to do anything but I was able to steel myself to remove the puss," she smiles. Those incidences alongside her addiction to TV medical dramas such as ER made choosing a diploma programme post-SPM a chinch.
Nur Shafiqah says being offered a place in Nilai University (Nilai U) was godsend as it was close to her home and the institution also had a healthy number of Felda scholars pursuing other programmes such as Diploma in Culinary Arts, Diploma in Hotel Management and Diploma in Agricultural Management programmes. The eldest of five siblings hails from Felda Raja Alias 4, Jempol, Negeri Sembilan is set to graduate from the Diploma in Nursing programme in August 2014 with a CPA of 3.04. She is unequivocal that it has been thoroughly life-enriching experience.
"I know many Felda scholars are wary of the full-English syllabus. My advice is not to worry as practice makes perfect," she exclaims. Having to converse and study in English has made her very comfortable in the language and she insists the process did not take long. "I saw it as a challenge and it only took me a few months to acclimatise," she assures. Furthermore, Nur Shafiqah has clear ambitions to work in the lucrative Middle East markets. "If you have ambitions to work abroad, you must be fluent in English. There are no two ways about it," she reasons.
Nur Shafiqah is also quick to point out that Nilai U's Nursing department has state-of-the-art teaching facilities, which include a simulated high fidelity patient. "The simulated patient is a very important piece of equipment allowing us the opportunity to learn how to deal with many different scenarios," she says. The high fidelity simulated patient can copy the reactions of humans in a variety of situations, from the administration of CPR to intake of medication. This allows students to gain valuable hands on experience in a safe and controlled environment. Although Nur Shafiqah has served in a number of hospitals, both private and public, for her clinical postings, she is keen to point out the importance of the simulated patient. "In an emergency situation in a hospital, we can only observe from a distance. The simulated patient provides us with hands on experience."
The bubbly 21-year old is also effusive with her praise for the nursing lecturers at Nilai U."They are always willing to help if you do not understand your lessons.They are patient and very encouraging," she says. She also believes that the teachers' dedication is key to the consistently good results scored by Nilai U nursing students. Nur Shafiqah also believes the peaceful and quiet campus environment also helps students focus on their studies. "However, 'peaceful' and 'quiet' does not mean 'dull' and 'boring'. It is great that we get to mix with students from all over the world pursuing different qualifications. It is certainly more fun and exciting than studying in a nursing college," she says.
Nur Shafiqah plans to become an Operating Theatre nurse after having positive experiences during her internships. She also plans to pursue a degree after getting the required working experience. "This will help me be a better nurse and improve my career prospects. After all, we never stop learning, especially in the field of healthcare," she concludes with a smile.
Nilai U Faculty of Allied Health Sciences also offer Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology, BSc (Hons) in Nursing and BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science. All of its programmes are validated by the Ministry of Education and accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency. For more information, please go to www.nilai.edu.my or call 06-8502308 / 07-2262336 / 03-79603089.