THE 1954 Klang High School yellow-strip (dental) nurse drilled and filled my teeth; the filling lasted for 30 years. She was also the first person to teach me oral hygiene.
In the 1960s, the green-strip nurses (midwives) cycled along the narrow bumpy path to our isolated house in Bukit Kuda to deliver my nephews and nieces and to provide pre- and post-natal care.
In 1984, I was warded at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital, Klang, for glaucoma.
Throughout the first day and night, the blue-strip (staff) and the red-strip (assistant) nurses put eye-drops into my eyes to normalise the eye pressure, and so saved my eyesight.
After my retirement in 2001, I was admitted to Tunku Fauziah Hospital, Kangar, four times for different ailments.
Each time, the professional care of the blue-strip and the purple-strip (community) nurses touched me and quickly put me on my feet again. The matrons and sisters were supportive. They always had a word or two with me during their rounds.
In the wards, I witnessed in awe how the nurses resuscitated the end-stage-kidney-failure patients and saved the lives of lung-congested or hypoglycaemic (low glucose level) patients.
In Room 20D of the hospital, nurses drew blood from patients for blood tests. And in the Blood Bank, they collected blood to save lives.
At the Kangar Health Clinic, nurses treat newly-born babies for neo-natal jaundice.
Like their counterparts at the clinic, those at the 1Malaysia Clinic in Seriab also stabilise the condition of asthmatics and the hypertensive.
They also dress wounds of all kinds.
Throughout my 25-year service at a premier residential school in Perlis, I have never missed the regular visits by nurses from the school unit of the Kangar Health Clinic.
They examined each hostel student, kept and maintained their profiles from Form 1 to 5.
They were also the students' health counsellors and confidantes Most parents must have been relieved to know that their children were in good hands.
The following are some of the roles nurses have been taking on: dental surgeons, obstetricians and gynaecologists, eye-specialists, healthcare professionals, morale builders, life savers, "vampires" for a good cause, child specialists, first-aid providers, wound dressers and healers, hostel students' nurturers, counsellors and confidantes.
Yet, these humble servants are sometimes ridiculed, scolded or bullied by patients' PAP (persons accompanying patients) or visitors. But, being professionals, they always keep their cool.