An interview with Jean Singh, Brazil’s inaugural Queen Silvia Nursing Award scholar



1. What sparked your interest in nursing studies?

I started my nursing studies by observing the way my mother always took care and still takes care of family members. I always saw her as the family nurse. This was certainly my biggest inspiration to study nursing.


2. What is it about nursing that continues to intrigue you, or keeps you learning and “on your toes”?

I work in oncology. As one of the most advanced areas in medicine today, there are new treatments regarding care devices, molecules, etc. Also because we work with innovation, there are always new ways of doing things, new ways of looking at everyday situations and pain. Entrepreneurship and curiosity keep me on my toes when it comes to caring.


3. How did you come about specializing in cancer care?

My specialization took place in 2 years, in what we call in Brazil "Multiprofessional Residency in Oncology". In this learning modality, I spent 2 years in one of the most renowned teaching hospitals in Brazil, Hospital São Paulo (Federal and University Hospital of the Federal University of São Paulo).


During this period, working and studying 60 hours a week (a little bit more when I was on call at the weekend), it was possible to go through all the cancer care environments and learn with a lot of practical content to practice specialized and scientific nursing in an environment with many adversities.


4. Where do you see yourself as a nurse leader in 10 years?

For the next 10 years, I want to be one of the Brazilian and, perhaps international, references in digital care for patients with cancer and other chronic-degenerative diseases. I hope to be able to contribute to science and leave a legacy not only of knowledge, but of practice that transforms reality.


5. What do you wish to share about your nursing experience since the start of the pandemic?

The pandemic showed us, Brazilian nurses, how cruel and devastating an unprepared and authoritarian government can be not only with the population, but also with the health professionals of our country. For several moments, I saw fellow nurses and friends reach mental and physical exhaustion due to the health crisis that enveloped our country.


What I want to share is a request: that, as citizens, we must respect and help nurses and their teams by supporting them and valuing their work. No health service in Brazil would be able to maintain itself without nursing, without systematic and scientific care.


6. How have you remained resilient throughout these very tough few years as a healthcare professional?

Maintaining resilience is very difficult in a time as dark as the one we are experiencing and it is because of seeing so many people suffering from delays in the health system, unavailability of professionals, sudden increase in demand for COVID in treatment centers and the fear of the disease itself. illness and adverse events, that I try to remain confident and as safe as possible to help these people.


7. What is your advice to nursing students who are just entering their studies / nurses who are just entering the industry?

Nursing is a profession that requires not only the hands that work, but also the brain that thinks about reality (and the problems it presents), and seeks intelligent solutions that help everyone involved. We must start our careers as nurses not by "putting ourselves in a cast", but by untying the knots that hold us in the sameness of "performing a task here, another there". Nursing has many brilliant minds and it certainly thinks of projects that can change the reality of people who go through health problems.


8. How did you learn about the QSNA and what prompted you to apply?

I learned about the Queen Silvia Nursing Award from Sweden from a colleague and I applied because I believe that my work has a lot to do with presenting potential solutions to major challenges in public and private health in Brazil. The focus here is on maintaining savings for both systems, as well as making the journey of cancer patients safer and more complete, as they undergo complex, expensive treatments that considerably reduce their quality of life.


9. Summarize your winning idea in a sentence and please let us know why you think this is important to share with the international nursing community?

Digital support, remote monitoring and care focused on the quality of life of cancer patients.


Since 2017, large studies have been published in the largest oncology congresses in the world and tell us about the fundamental importance of having qualified professionals available to patients with chronic-degenerative diseases outside the hospital environment. Many of them demonstrate significant improvement in quality of life, adherence to treatment, communication with the health team, reduction of unnecessary visits to treatment centers, early identification of potentially fatal situations and increase in survival rates, reaching even higher levels than new drugs.


The importance of quality digital support also comes from the global industry 4.0 movement, innovation and digital transformation. Patient care will be directly linked to this in a few years, and many will have greater access to quality healthcare.


10. Will you be bringing your winning idea further, i.e. to market or to development?

Yes! I want to learn more and more about how to transform the current Brazilian reality and I seek support from people who can encourage my ideas and help me leverage digital support for patients not only oncology, but with chronic-degenerative diseases in the country.


The central idea is to promote quality of life through an application with easy access to multi professional teams that guide and make the journeys of these patients increasingly lighter and safer, through telecare, pharmacovigilance, guidelines for self-care, reporting center of symptoms, navigation center, multidisciplinary assistance from diagnosis to outcome, whatever it may be.


Finally, I am immensely grateful to everyone involved for the opportunity to take my project this far.