RIPAS nurses eat sahur meals away from home

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds


BEING a nurse on night shift duty entails not just the need to tend to patients and emergency cases, it also means sahur (pre-dawn meal) is taken away from the family.

The night duty nurses at the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital are seasoned at having sahur while at work. Eventhough they are not able to eat sahur with family, they have found that sharing the meal among colleagues can be special and meaningful as well.

When the time for sahur comes, RIPAS nurses sit down together and open up their containers filled with servings of eggs, vegetables and fish, among others to share.

They would gesture to each other as an indication to eat in a communal manner, all the while sharing stories, jokes and keeping each other entertained during the graveyard hours.

Noorsah Amit, a staff nurse of nine years, shared with The Brunei Times how she takes the initiative to ensure that food variety is achieved when having sahur.

"We would make (early) arrangements so that we do not bring the same dishes. For example, I would ask my colleagues what they are bringing, if they are bringing meat then I would bring vegetables," she said.

Her colleague, Hjh Siti Junayati Hj Julai who has been a nurse for five years, said that all the nurses would bring their respective dishes and share with each other.

"When we are on shift, we have sahur with colleagues," she said.

Although the nurses enjoy their sahur moments, they practise flexibility and prioritise their patients.

"Sometimes there are instances in which we would have to stop our sahur and have it later to attend to patients as they are our priority. So there must be flexibility involved," said Noorsah, adding that in some emergency cases, the sahur is skipped entirely.

For Nur Indah Sari, a nurse of six years, her sahur consists of mostly home cooked dishes packed before work.

"Home-cooked food is the option most of the time because the hospital canteen is not open during our shift hours," she said.

Leading a team of three for a ward of 28 patients, Nur Indah said the team has sahur together usually at 3.30am before running medical errands for the patients.

"At 4am, we would give medication such as antibiotics. Beforehand, we need to take blood samples because if it was done later, it affects the results for the next day," she said.

"We have to prepare everything beforehand, such as checking the patients' progress and recording everything on the chart for the doctors to see later," she said.

The Brunei Times