I want to go back

From Siem Reap to Battambang and Back Again: Sim Sinoun’s Nursing Journey

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My name is Sim Sinuon, and I am a 27-year old nurse at Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC). I am the fourth of six children. When I was two years old, my mother died as the result of a land mine. My father could not afford to take care of six children so he sent one of my brothers and me to live with a foster family. I finished high school in 2008, and my family urged me to study physics or mathematics and become a teacher. Instead, I pursued my passion for helping and enrolled in a three-year course at Battambang Regional Training Center, about 170km from Siem Reap.

I had never left my home province before beginning nursing school. I was very nervous, because I had never lived alone and had to move into a small, rented wooden house. My foster mother did not have enough money to support me during my studies: sometimes, I did not have enough money to pay for school supplies, and sometimes I did not have enough food. Luckily, I made a lot of friends from different provinces around Cambodia, and their friendship was very important. I studied every day and was determined to overcome all of the obstacles in my path. In 2012, I completed my nursing course and graduated as a qualified nurse.

In my third and final year of nursing school, I learned about AHC and the high-quality of care provided to young children. As soon as I learned about AHC, I knew I wanted to work here: AHC is well-known for providing compassionate care and for having polite and patient staff. In 2013, I had the opportunity to apply for a job at AHC. I was so excited to hear that I had been selected for an interview and examination—after waiting for 19 long days, I found out I had been selected to become a nurse at AHC. Being hired at AHC was the final step in following my dream of helping young children. I am now a full-time nurse and have worked in the Outpatient Department, Inpatient Department and Low Acuity Unit. I love working with my colleagues because everyone is friendly and we work together as a team.

Working at AHC has given me opportunities I never imagined: my clinical skills have improved a lot, and I am able to take free English classes three times each week so that I can better communicate within and outside of the hospital. Every Thursday, I attend a nursing presentation that teaches me more about how to improve my skills as a caregiver. The thing I love most is saying goodbye to patients once they are healthy—it makes me really happy to be able to work with children and help them become healthy and happy. I am proud to be a nurse at AHC because we are able to help so many children from around Cambodia.

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