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KDIS Health Focus: A Day in the Life of Nurse Kim

  • Date 2024-04-15 09:17
  • CategoryStory
  • Hit1229

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our News Center. Today, we have the pleasure of sitting down with the heart and soul of our nursing team, the beloved Nurse Kim. As KDIS's favorite nurse, he brings not only expertise but also warmth and dedication to the healthcare department. Join us as we dive into the ins and outs of a day in the life of Nurse Kim, exploring his journey, experiences, and the uniqueness of his professionalism and compassion, here in the KDIS healthcare room.

Please tell us about yourself. Who is Nurse Kim, and could you please share a bit about your background and experience as KDIS's favorite nurse?

My name is Taesub. TAE means BIG, and SUB means FIRE. I was named to grow big and healthy like a big fire. My hometown is Daejeon, which is right next to Sejong.

I have an interesting career. Ever since I studied English for the first time back in middle school, I loved the language of English and decided to major in English Linguistics and Literature in college, which helped to improve my English skills a lot. As I started doing volunteer work at a local hospital, I developed my dream to become a nurse, so I went to the U.S. to study nursing.

Immediately after studying the human body, I was completely fascinated by how the human body works and have been enjoying studying and researching medical information. 

Beyond the medical knowledge, I believe I am truly blessed and grateful to find my calling as an English-speaking nurse here at KDI School because I can be used as a healing instrument to care for students from all over the world along with faculty and staff members.

Can you walk us through a typical day in the life of Nurse Kim at KDIS? What does your daily routine entail?

I usually come to work about 30 minutes early to check my emails and medical instruments prior to receiving patients. Approximately, I care for 1,000 people in our institution: 500 from KDI, 200 from KDIS, and 300 students, so you can imagine how many visitors from various backgrounds with different medical issues come to the Healthcare Room every day.

I feel like my office is like a family practice clinic due to the variety of medical issues I encounter every day. Literally, I have been seeing patients with health problems from head to toes: brain and spine disorders, eye, ear, nose disorders, heart disorders, skin and muscular-skeletal disorders, mental health issues, urinary and reproductive organ disorders and many others! Over the past 5 years of working here, I have gained valuable experience and skills in terms of how to focus on everyone, not only the disease itself.

I still remember what I said during my job interview here at KDI School back in 2018 that I would like to have my office open to anyone. I hope the Healthcare Room is not necessarily only for those who are sick but also a place where everyone can stop by to share their smiles, communicate with kindness, encouraging words and receive healing energy.

Being sick in a foreign country might be the last thing you want to experience because I was an international student in the U.S., and I understand the challenges and feeling hopeless when we encounter health issues. I hope and encourage all students to come and seek my care without any fear or worries if they need any help. Although I have so much to improve myself in many aspects, I want to become like St. Francis of Assisi or St. Mother Theresa to provide genuine, kind nursing care to everyone.

Reflecting on your experience, what has been the most challenging case you've encountered as a nurse? 

One of the most important tasks as a nurse here at KDI School is when a student visits me with symptoms that require treatments beyond my nursing scope, such as stroke, broken bones, etc. I have to send them to a clinic where they can get the best medical support.

It was not easy to find a good clinic because many doctors don’t speak English and are not comfortable seeing foreign patients. I called almost all primary clinics here in Sejong by each specialty (i.e. internal medicine, orthopedics, dentists, dermatologist, etc.) and made a list of clinics whose doctors speak good English, have excellent skills, and provide kind services to our students. Students then gave me feedback about their experience in certain clinics they visited.

Now I have more than 30 clinics and hospitals that are associated with our school and their doctors feel comfortable seeing international students since we have built a good relationship during the past 5 years. It is a blessing to have easy access to those clinics and many students have been satisfied with their experience in the Korean medical system.

Could you share your passions and the driving force that sustains your dedication as a nurse at KDIS? 

Being strongly motivated in one’s life is very important because it is our driving force in daily life. My Catholic faith has always guided me to become an instrument that brings healing and love for everyone. I come to work knowing that KDI School is not only a workplace but also a place to meet everyone with kindness and love. This is a very special place where I meet other awesome human beings from  whom I can learn.

Although I initially enjoyed studying English, I truly enjoy studying medical knowledge. I always read medical-related books every day and try to find helpful information that I can apply to caring for my patients. When they give positive feedback about my care, such as medical advice or medications that I give, it really makes me happy and feel rewarded.

After all, isn’t it every nurse’s goal that their patients become free of illness and pain and feel happy? I admit that I am not a doctor and have a limited nursing scope to provide since I cannot prescribe medications or order certain exams that are necessary to make a medical diagnosis. However, if I can be a helpful and trusted resource to navigate best the medical services that students can receive while they are here at KDI School, that would bring me absolutely great joy in my calling as your nurse.

Did you always aspire to be a nurse and work in an institutional setting like KDIS when you were growing up? How did your career aspirations evolve over the years?

As a nurse, you can do many things while you take care of a patient. For example, some nurses have excellent nursing skills, such as giving IV injections. You may remember a nurse or caregiver who treated you with such a kind and gentle soul that this good energy creates a magical healing atmosphere. 

When I was young, my friends used to tell me that I have a soothing, gentle voice and I am good at explaining things clearly. I believe this natural part of me suited me for my nursing work. A patient, while I was working in the U.S., once told me that my voice was very soothing and brought her comfort in the middle of her fear and pain.

Also, I feel very happy when a patient listens to my explanation about certain medical information and replies, “Taesub, you explain things in such an easy way to understand.”

The experiences above inspire me to further develop my strengths and use them for my nursing care, and I hope students are satisfied after seeing me.

Reflecting on the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, can you share your experience during that time? How did you and your team cope with the unique demands and pressures?

COVID-19 pandemic brought us huge challenges no doubt. I think we have learned many lessons during this period. It made us think again about things we took for granted for so long.

One thing I would like to mention is that KDI School showed amazing teamwork during the pandemic. All faculty/staff and students became one team and strictly followed instructions and regulations to keep everyone and our campus safe.

I can only imagine how hard it must have been to attend online classes only, not to be able to see friends, to be quarantined and to keep wearing a mask all the time. However, everyone kindly cooperated without complaints. We all knew that everyone was suffering from this virus and taking responsibilities together was the only way to overcome that situation and WE DID IT TOGETHER!

I am very thankful and proud of all students and faculty/staff members for their sacrifice and efforts they made to go through these challenges and hope such a pandemic never happens again.

Being a nurse at KDIS can be exhausting sometimes, how do you spend your free time? 

I enjoy listening to classical music a lot. I have been playing the piano since I was 6 years old. My life is filled with great joy from listening to beautiful classical music. I also enjoy taking a walk-in nature, riding a bike and playing soccer. Some of you might have noticed a picture of me as a member of the KDIS Soccer Team in my office. Mostly, I read books a lot. I spend lots of time reading religious and health-related books not noticing how time flies!

Any final thoughts or comments you'd like to share, Nurse Kim? Thank you for taking the time to share your insights and experiences with us.

What a wonderful opportunity you received in your life to live in Korea and study at KDI School with friends from all over the world! I hope you enjoy your academic journey as well as the beautiful cultural aspects of Korea. Keep in mind that each one of you is an amazing human being and an asset to this world.

I apologize in advance that sometimes I am out of the office for a staff meeting or other personal occasions. Other than that, my door is always open to you. Stop by anytime to just say hello and show your beautiful smiles. Let’s have a wonderful year together!

Thank you, Nurse Kim, for dedicating your valuable time to offering us a window into your world of work and personal experiences. Wishing you all the best in life, and we're privileged to have you as our favorite nurse. I sincerely hope for the opportunity to connect again in the future for another insightful discussion. Thank you, Nurse Kim, for your time and expertise.


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TUKAMWESIGA, Gloria

2024 Spring / MDP / Uganda

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