Nurse, Cardiac Lab Team

Phyllis Chan Bing Mun, 2002, 5A3

Being a nurse had never crossed my mind.
什么白衣天使,什么护士小姐,听了都觉得 geli…
My first impression of being a nurse was cleaning buttocks 8O
but it turned out to be much more.

My Journey

Hi there, I am Bing Mun 秉文 from 4A3-5A3. Unlike my 2 elder sisters and 2 younger sisters (who love to study and know very well that they must study), I hate studying. I have never focused in my school work and have never tried my best since the beginning of my school life.

I am the type who likes to sandwich an idol magazine
inside my Geography/Sejarah text book whenever I need to
prove that ‘I am actually doing revision’. :roll:
I think I suffer from severe middle child syndrome.

I entered the arts stream because I didn’t bother much where I went, and I knew very well that I would PK in the science stream because it is beyond my capabilities. Furthermore, I hate Math and am very slow at numbers. I dropped accounts because I couldn’t understand how debit and credit worked. And I dropped economics as well because I couldn’t comprehend the forces of supply and demand. In the end, I was left with only 8 basic subjects, which I did not do very well in either (below average).

2 years in arts class passed very fast. Ponteng school and lepak during class were my favourite activities. Everyday was relaxing because I had no burdens, couldn’t care less about homework and revision. After F5, I continued lepak-ing, goyang kaki with no definite ambitions. Due to my ever-changing ambitions (image consultant, film director, lawyer, singer, actress…) and my laziness in school, my parents were not convinced of spending on my higher education.

One day, out of the blue, my aunty suggested that I try
enrolling in a nursing college in KL.
Her selling point was: can stay in hostel and get rid of family.
I was like ‘huh’???

Being a nurse had never crossed my mind. 什么白衣天使,什么护士小姐,听了都觉得 geli… My first impression of being a nurse is cleaning buttocks and giving medicine (it’s actually way more than this). I did not reject the idea and 抱着贪玩的态度, decided to give it a try. I got very strong support from my family because bursaries are provided in the course.

Yay!? :D ? I got a diploma in nursing from Tun Tan Cheng Lock College of Nursing, PJ* in 3 years. There, I learnt a lot about life and death, the medical field, nursing care & practical skills etc. After graduating, I worked in a private hospital in PJ. My experiences in a medical and surgical ward taught me a lot about the medical and nursing field but what’s more important is that I have become another person…

I have started to realize how important our life is,
how significantly life is related to health, and
how much our loved ones mean to us.

3 years of working so closely to those on the brink of “life and death”, has changed my perspective on life. I have learned about the philosophy of death, the cycle of life and of course it has broadened my view about HUMAN NATURE. After 3 years of serving patients in the ward, I requested to change departments to gain exposure and knowledge. I was transferred to the cardiac (heart) department where I have served for 2 years. The knowledge and practical experience I have gained has served me well. I will be leaving for Singapore for good in 2 weeks as I have secured a permanent job there.

Finally, I think that:

  1. You should do whatever your tells you. No harm following your instincts, the path you take may end up to be a fruitful one.
  2. We may not end up with want we want in life, or what we plan, or what we have studied in university. Life is unpredictable, so no use cracking your brain worrying about whether the path in front of you is correct. Explore more, listen to people more, consider every possibility and grab opportunities when they appear.
  3. Things will change, really, look at my life. So be adaptable. ;)

BTW, I have gained a Bsc.(Hons) in Nursing Practice Development with a British university. It’s a distance learning programme that I completed while I was working with loan from PTPTN. This programme lasted for 2 years (6 semesters). It is an assignment-based degree, which means that I do assignments for credit in the course. I only had to attend class for two weeks every 6 months.

*If you are interested in nursing, go and ask medical centers or hospitals for information. Many hospitals provide sponsorship to nursing students. They will provide you with a bursary and enroll you at their own nursing college, or at a contracted college. Because they sponsor you, you will have to work for them for a certain duration.

Good luck!

Bing Mun

Click here to read about what I do as a Cardiac Lab Team Nurse.


I have spent 5 years working as a nurse. For the first 3 years, I worked in a multi-discipline ward where the bulk of the patients were either medical or surgical cases. Here, I served medication to patients, performed patient assessments, assisted doctors in ward rounds and procedures, and provided care for bed-ridden patients such as sponging, feeding etc.

After 3 years, I requested to change departments to gain exposure and experience and was transferred to the cardiac (heart) department. I spent 2 years in the cardiac laboratory where we save lives for heart attack patients. My role is to assist the cardiologist (heart consulting doctor) in inserting metal stents and balloons into the patient’s blocked vessels (阻塞的血管) to re-open vessels so that blood flow regains to the affected vessels. This procedure is called percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) OR 心導管術和心導管氣球擴張術. Don’t get me wrong, I do not work in an operating theater, this interventional cardiology only deals with long wires to be inserted to the heart via the major arteries (vessels) in our body. We do not open up the heart. However, doctors alone cannot get this procedure done.

Saving lives is not a one-man show.

All over the world, every specialty needs a team to perform procedures. My team is called the cardiac lab team or the angio team and it consists of a cardiologist, cardiovascular technician, radiographer, registered scrub nurse (me) and registered circulating nurse (can be me as well). This procedure is usually very fast-acting and it can often end up with an emergency in the lab. So even though I am just a nurse, I support a team which has major responsibilities, because we deal directly with the heart and therefore, directly with life.

(Originally published Sept 25, 2011)


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  2. After working for almost 20 years in banking line, I am thinking of switching my current job to nursing…..ya…this is a very drastic change. I also found that it’s quite expensive to study Nursing and the pay for nurse is kind of low. This has placed me in a dillema situation as to proceed with this switch. How I am going to support my monthly expenses…. However,this information given by Bing Mun is very encouraging.

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