Article : Matron Alice Pang
Chief Nursing Officer
As fate would have it however, this year she has already been in nursing for a whopping 49 years – 36 years with the government service and 13 years with the private sector. Indeed she is now anxiously waiting for her golden anniversary in nursing on 6th June 2016.
Meet Matron Alice Pang, PPN, 68, Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), Kelana Jaya Medical Centre (KJMC). She was awarded the Pingat Pangkuan Negara (PPN) by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
In a recent meeting with Inspiration, she recalled,“ My nursing sister auntie in Melaka gave me the application form after my Form V in 1964. I told her I didn’t like dirty job but she said applying would not necessarily mean that I would get it.” Still, encouraged by both her parents and auntie, she went on to apply and later succeeded at the interview, paving the way for her entry into nursing.
At the Johor Bahru School of Nursing, where she spent 3 years and 4 months undergoing training, her initial knowledge was barely minimal. She said, “ I didn’t know much in terms of what to do. I had to learn from scratch – from block to block, from theory to practice.”
When did she start developing her passion for nursing? She said, “ After the third year of basic training and helping patients including my own family, I could already feel the nursing passion in me. I owe a great deal to my then lecturers, matrons and people at the top hierarchy. With the passion that I have, now it is my turn to give back to society by teaching new nurses.”
Passion, whether one has it from the beginning, or develop it at a certain stage in one’s nursing career, is an essential criteria, Matron Alice stressed, “ You definitely must have the passion in your chosen field. Money is important. But it cannot be just for the money as you won’t be able to find the satisfaction in what you do. If money alone is in your mind, you might as well leave and join other lucrative fields.”
The CNO has two post-basic training qualifications – in mid-wifery and peri-operative. She rose from the ranks in the government service –from staff nurse all the way to nursing sister’s post right until she retired as a Matron in 2003 As a government hospital matron, she spent one year in Teluk Intan before returning to HKL until her retirement. From there she joined Damai Medical Centre for 1 year as a Matron, then 4 years in Assunta Hospital as a OT Manager, 1 year in Tropicana Medical Centre.
Even so, she could only retire for nine months.“ I felt restless. I was so used to working - teaching and seeing patients. Besides, I had no grandchild. My children had grown up. During the nine months, I did stuff like watching TV and movies, gardening and taking morning walks. In the end, it was the joy of working coupled with my full-blown passion for nursing that which pushed me back to working life. I contacted my friends and started teaching at a college for 5 years.
Now Matron Alice is employed in KJMC. No doubt the 42-bed KJMC is relatively a small hospital.But to Matron Alice, it is good - it is only five minutes from her house. She said, “ I am able to run the hospital in a way which connects all systems with the GM, Consultants and other colleagues.”