Industry Related (Healthcare)

NUH: Radiating Love, Touching Lives

Two healthcare professionals at NUH share the meaning behind their work, what continually inspires them, and where their careers are headed.

By Lim Yan Wen

Radiation therapy is a branch of medical treatment that most people do not fully comprehend, until they are faced with the need to understand it better.

This is precisely what Serene Cher experienced when a close friend was diagnosed with leukaemia about seven years ago. Her firsthand experience of being there for her friend as she went through treatment exposed her to the importance of the healthcare profession, and in particular, radiation therapy. This friend's subsequent passing had an inspirational and catalytic impact on Serene, and was her impetus for deciding to join the ranks of the healthcare industry as a Radiation Therapist.

“I've always been interested in the health science profession, but it was seeing my friend go through therapy that got me exposed to this area, and her passing motivated me to pursue Radiation Therapy to save lives,” Serene says.

Given her interest in health science and deep conviction in helping cancer patients put up a good fight, Serene sought out a scholarship awarded by the National Healthcare Group (NHG) to study Radiation Therapy – a medical treatment for controlling and eliminating malignant cancer cells.

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SingHealth: For A Greater Cause

The healthcare industry is driven by passion, patience and perseverance – all towards the greater cause of benefiting society. Two youths share how they discovered their calling and what spurs them on.

By Tan Yan Shuo

Tan Wan Ru and Wang Yu Yan are vivacious young women who have much in common. Both hailed from Temasek Junior College, were members of the Leo Club, and volunteered for the Community Outreach Programme for the Elderly, which arranges for students to visit the homes of needy elderly.

More importantly, both are SingHealth scholars who have found their calling in geriatric care. And like others in the healthcare industry, they are continually driven by passion, patience, and perseverance.

Early signposts
As a volunteer, Wan Ru gained first-hand experience of geriatric care – a service which became increasingly meaningful to her over time.

“When I first visited her, she was able to cope with day-to-day tasks, so initially we just helped her with her housework,” she recalls of the old lady whom she used to help. “But subsequently, she started to lose her memory and her vision started to deteriorate. She couldn’t see telephone numbers, so we wrote the numbers bigger. Eventually, she had difficulty walking, so instead of just cleaning her house, we brought her out for medical appointments in her wheelchair.”

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NHG: Finding Fulfilment

Physiotherapy is all about rehabilitating the injured and disabled, promoting well-being, and reducing health deterioration.

By Prasana Ramachandran

Recognised as a profession only after World War II, physiotherapy is relatively new to the age-old medical industry. However, it is increasingly acknowledged as an essential and critical part of healthcare. The invaluable contribution of physiotherapists is paid tribute during the annual World Physiotherapy Day on 8 September.

However, National Healthcare Group (NHG) scholar Ahmad Zaki Hairodin entered the profession neither for recognition nor reward. He did so for the fulfilment of knowing patients have regained their health with his help. “There is self-satisfaction to be had in this job for sure,” he says emphatically.

Merely three months into his posting at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Physiotherapy Department, he reaped the joys of the profession through the case of a 22-year-old spinal cord injury patient. A tetraplegic who had been through a tracheotomy, the patient had to breathe through a tube attached to his throat. He was a candidate for spinal cord rehabilitation, but the breathing tube was in the way.

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MOH: The Life-Saving “Photojournalist”

MOH Health Science scholar Leong Suet Fen takes “photos” that help detect health problems in patients before it is too late.

By Cheak Hong Ian

You do not need to be a doctor or a nurse to offer a healing hand to others.

Diagnostic Radiographer Leong Suet Fen, 26, is one of the unsung heroes of the health industry.

“A radiographic examination involves checking the patient's identity and whether or not there are contraindications, explaining the procedure to the patient, positioning the patient to achieve standard projections so that follow-up scans are comparable, exposing the patient to an appropriate dose of radiation, assuring the patient, and minimising discomfort to the patient,” she says.

Suet Fen likens her job to that of a “photojournalist who presents the truth in the form of images”. She captures pictures of the significant and provocative, which in this case is the unseen terrain on which doctors and nurses will battle diseases on – inside the bodies of patients. These scans help doctors diagnose a patient’s exact condition.

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MOH: Putting Her Best Foot Forward

Podiatry is not just about healing feet; for one MOH scholar, it’s also about touching lives.

By Azhar Jalil

“To me, podiatry is not a healthcare profession where there’s a strict ‘patient-clinician’ relationship,” says podiatrist Chelsea Law, 28.

“In many ways, patients often refer to us more personally – as a friend, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and even a confidante,” she reveals.

Given that many of her patients are diabetics seeking treatment for debilitating foot ulcers, such rapport is undeniably a valuable crutch for effective treatment.

“In my position, I have the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives by providing my concern and care for them,” she says.

The road to success
Chelsea has always had an interest in medicine and wound care. As such, the MOH Health Science Scholarship (aka previously known as the PSC-MOH Overseas Specialist Award (Paramedical) in the past) served as the perfect vehicle for pursuing her ambition to be in healthcare. Why the study of feet in particular? “My mum’s heel pain spurred me to take up podiatry,” she explains.

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GSK: Behind The Scenes

Two employees from GSK spill the beans on what they love about working for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

By Joyce Lin

Whenever you step into a pharmacy or a supermarket, you’re likely to find a product from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). From mass consumer products such as Ribena, Lucozade and Horlicks, to prescription medicines and vaccines, GSK is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies with a history that dates back to the early eighteenth century.

With its office facilities and three manufacturing plants including a new vaccine manufacturing plant which was officially opened by the Prime Minister in June 2009, GSK has certainly made its presence felt in Singapore.

Diversity in the field
A career with GSK is as varied and exciting as its range of products and brands. Young professionals like Nicholas Teo, an Associate Account Manager and experienced staff like Leow Kwee Foong, a Regulatory Affairs Director attest how every work day is different and eagerly anticipated.

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NUHS: Altruistic Aspirations

By Eugene Lim

Since independence, Singapore’s life expectancy has been rising consistently. The average Singaporean now lives up to about 80 years, up from 65 years half a century ago. Thanks to the Republic's excellent healthcare infrastructure, the figure is expected to ascend further, making the healthcare industry an evergreen and essential one. National University Health Systems (NUHS) is one of the core entities responsible for this praiseworthy phenomenon in Singapore.

Benevolent Business
For Clara Sin, the search for a “more meaningful and more stable” career led her to NUHS. After graduating from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor of Business (Banking & Finance) in 1993, she began her professional career in the financial industry before making the switch to healthcare in 2002. “I felt that healthcare meets both of my expectations. It's doing meaningful work and it offers better job stability as compared to other industries,” explains Clara.

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A Prescription for Success

For a practice as imperative as nursing, the quality of nursing is of paramount importance. With the commencement of a novel academic nursing path, the diversity of options is now greatly enhanced.

By Nabilah Husna A. Rahman

If you happen to have set your sights on the nursing or healthcare industry, you’re in luck. You’re also possibly imbued with rare immunity against the cyclical ups and downs of the economy, quite unlike your peers in the workforce.

Not only is the industry perpetually robust, dispensing a regularly high demand for healthcare staff, the Ministry of Education has also approved a niche path for those keen on obtaining higher academic qualifications in healthcare.

The East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) recently joined forces with Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh to launch its inaugural nursing degree course – an ideal opportunity for practicing registered staff nurses to enter Singapore’s healthcare industry. The programme hopes to further their nursing career in Singapore and eventually help the country grow its reputation as Asia’s healthcare hub.

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