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More about Professions


DIAGNOSTIC RADIOGRAPHERS

Shedding light into the body to find the path to good health

Diagnostic Radiographers perform radiographic examinations and produce images of diagnostic quality for diagnosis. Some of the special radiographic examinations performed by radiographers are: - Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. They also assist Radiologists in Fluoroscopy, Angiography and other interventional radiological procedures.

“As a radiographer, I assist doctors by providing quality medical imaging for accurate diagnosis. I chose radiography as my career path as I enjoy meeting and interacting with different people on a daily basis. My job satisfaction keeps me happy as I know that what I do at work contributes to improving patients’ health.”

Sharon Tan

Radiographer, NHG Diagnostics

DIETICIANS

Nourishing our bodies with proper diet and nutrition

Dieticians are responsible for all phases of nutrition care including nutrition assessment, diagnosis of dietary or nutritional problems, prescription of appropriate dietary treatment and nutrition care plan, monitoring and counselling of patients in a variety of settings. They educate patients and their family members or caregivers on nutrition and dietary requirement to increase awareness between nutrition and disease prevention. They also participate in community and public education and activities to promote healthy food choices and nutritional well-being.

“I help to translate my clinical expertise and experience into easy-to-understand knowledge and practical information for clients to follow. My clients can range from people suffering from medical conditions, members of the community, food service industry and medical institutions like nursing homes.

Currently, all Dieticians are overseas trained. Only dietetics degree courses that are accredited by the Dietetic association in the country of study will be recognised in Singapore.”

To be a practising dietician, you must obtain one of the following:

1) Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics (3-4 years)

2) Degree in Nutrition (3 years) + Post-graduate Diploma in Dietetics (1 year)

3) Degree in Science, majoring in Physiology and Biochemistry + Masters Degree in Dietetics (2 years)

In addition, at least 6 months of clinical internship must be completed

Pauline Xie

Senior Dietician, National Healthcare Group Polyclinics

MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS

Listening and caring for the good of our patients

Medical Social Workers provide bio-psychosocial assessment and social diagnosis of the patients/families. They formulate and implement comprehensive bio-psychosocial treatment plans utilising appropriate clinical social work interventions to help them cope with crisis, hospitalisation, treatment, chronic illness rehabilitation, reintegration to society, life transitions, grief and bereavement. Interventions include individual, group or family counselling and psycho-educational workshops. They assist in the screening, social diagnosis and treatment of victims of abuse and are involved with facilitating referrals and access to social, financial or legal assistance.

“As Medical Social Workers, we are the patient's advocates to ensure that he or she is heard and represented. We need to persevere when met with challenges, and work within our limited resources and time constraints to ensure that the patient's welfare is met.

I work in a very supportive environment where my colleagues provide a good source of support, are willing to share and help out when needed. Personally, a good social worker is someone who is resourceful, humble, equipped and trained with the essential knowledge, possesses excellent interpersonal skills, a good team player and has a sense of humour!”

Jessica Chan

Medical Social Worker, Institute of Mental Health

MEDICAL & LABORATORY TECHNOLOGISTS

Investigating biological mysteries

Medical and Laboratory Technologists play a crucial role in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease using sophisticated automated equipment and instruments to examine body fluids, tissues, cells and other micro organisms. They also analyse the results and relay them to physicians in a timely manner in order for them to confirm a diagnosis or to monitor treatment.

“Medical Technologists provide quality and reliable test results for doctors to give patients the best medical care that they need. Every role in the lab is linked to one another, therefore teamwork and mutual respect are important. All of us are pillars of a strong and organized environment.

I have a wonderful team of colleagues who makes me feel that working can also be fun and NHG is just like a second home to me! NHG enables me to respect and understand the importance of my profession and make me stay committed to my work.”

Carol Sim

Medical Technologist, NHG Diagnostics

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPISTS

Empowering patients for independence

Occupational Therapists assess, develop and implement treatment plans to help individuals achieve optimal independence by improving and restoring skills in activities of self care, daily living, work activities, leisure and play. They provide functional, cognitive and perceptual assessment and training of daily activities, facilitate work rehabilitation, prescribe and train in the use of assertive technology or devices, and apply ergonomic principles to performance of occupations. For mental health setting, they will devise treatment to help overcome patients' lack of confidence, irrational fears, anxieties and difficulties in relationships with others.

“In my course of work, I assess people with psychiatric conditions for their readiness to work, counsel in matching them to jobs and provide alternative options if they are not ready. I also work with our partners to help patients find suitable jobs and provide support whilst they are working.

Beyond that, we ensure that clients are safe and suitable to be discharged. We equip them with knowledge on how to be independent. We do not engage people in mere activities contrary to many people's belief but rather use occupations, which are activities that are meaningful to individuals, to establish life roles and routines. That's the uniqueness of the profession - it intervenes directly with the life of our clients.”

Sudhasan S/O Krishnasamy

Senior Occupational Therapist, Institute of Mental Health

ORTHOPTISTS

Bringing a balanced vision back to you

Orthoptist is an allied health professional who provides diagnosis and non-medical management of strabismus (squint), amblyopia (lazy eye) and eye movement disorders. Orthoptist works with patients of all ages but is recognised in particular for his/her expertise in the assessment of vision in children and in the field of paediatric vision screening. Older patients may present with double vision following a stroke or head injury. In these situations the Orthoptist diagnoses and monitors the eye movement defect and treats the double vision where possible.Orthoptist works with patients of all ages but is recognised in particular for his/her expertise in the assessment of vision in children and in the field of paediatric vision screening. Older patients may present with double vision following a stroke or head injury. In these situations the Orthoptist diagnoses and monitors the eye movement defect and treats the double vision where possible.

PHARMACISTS

Dispensing good health

Pharmacists provide a wide range of patient-oriented services to inpatients and outpatients. Besides dispensing and counselling patients on their medications, they work closely with physicians to recommend and monitor patient drug therapy and provide drug information. Using sound clinical knowledge, they will identify, resolve and prevent drug related problems, thus ensuring safe, appropriate, cost-effective medication therapies for patients. Pharmacists will also be involved in management of patients in the anticoagulation, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and lipids clinics to achieve a specific therapeutic outcome.

“As a Clinic Pharmacy Manager, my job entails ensuring the smooth running of daily pharmacy operations as well as providing specialized services such as managing patients in the Anticoagulation, Hypertension, Diabetes and Lipids clinics through collaborative care with other healthcare professionals.

I supervise a team of pharmacy staff to provide pharmaceutical care services to patients, ensuring medications are dispensed safely and appropriately to achieve therapeutic outcomes. I also provide comprehensive counseling services to my patients, addressing their needs for information in order to enhance compliance and self-care.

To have that personal working relationship with patients and able to make an impact in their clinical outcomes gives me great satisfaction and motivates me to perform to the best of my ability. Even though front-line duty can be quite challenging at times due to its fast-paced environment and having to constantly balance between my operational duties and clinical work activities, I still feel that this is my calling and what I love to do daily at work!”

Anna Liew

Clinic Pharmacy Manager, NHG Pharmacy

“As a pharmacist based in polyclinic, my work allows me to practise direct patient care. I serve as a source of information for the patient to approach, e.g. recommending medications for management of minor ailments, counselling patients on the usage of their medications and health related issues. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, i have a role to play in optimising patient's medications to better managed their condition to prevent disease related complications. It is heartening and encouraging to see them making effort to change and adding on more years of healthy life for themselves.

Pharmacist, being frontline personnel, need to have good attention to detail, since a lapse in accuracy can be dangerous to people's health. Besides having a good knowledge on disease management and medications, he/she must process good interpersonal skill, and the patience/empathy to listen to patients and attend to their needs whenever the needs arise.”

Ong Soo Im

Snr Pharmacist (Clinical), NHG Pharmacy

PHYSIOTHERAPISTS

Providing the touch to move you

Physiotherapists' main contribution to healthcare stems from their advanced knowledge of how the body moves. Physiotherapists are able to assess movement dysfunction, pain and other symptoms that are causing the reduced ability to move well. The main aim of physiotherapy is then to provide treatment to reduce / remove pain, improve movement and prevent further recurrence. This allows one to go back to daily activities, leisure activities and sport; or if unable to, then to maximise one's potential to perform these activities.

Physiotherapy management includes strengthening, flexibility and balance exercises, manual therapy, activity / sport related training, electrical physical agents, injury prevention and wellness programs, and even the use of advanced technology or robotics.

“Physiotherapy can help patients feel better, move better and cope better. My work as a physiotherapist requires me to examine the holistic picture for each individual patient. Physiotherapy skills extend beyond treating just the problem the patient presents with. With every individual, goals are established with the person and his/her family. I facilitate and empower them in the treatment and management of each problem, thereby improving their quality of life.

A physiotherapist needs to be creative. Given the uniqueness of each individual, a physiotherapist must think out of the box and tailor his treatment to suit the patient’s needs. A physiotherapist must find the most creative way to best inspire and progress each patient.”

Ong Pang Hao

Physiotherapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

PODIATRISTS

Helping patients put their best foot forward

Podiatrists assess, diagnose and implement treatment for a range of problems related to the foot and lower limbs. They treat a broad spectrum of patients ranging from general low risk foot assessments to corns and calluses, infections, skin and nail diseases, congenital or acquired deformities, high-risk diabetic ulcer patients as well as servicing several community clinics to treat high-risk diabetes mellitus patients. Podiatrists also fabricate custom-made orthoses, prescribe insoles and advice on the correct footwear. They educate patients and family members or caregivers on preventive foot care and the treatment of disorders. They also conduct public forums and talks to increase public’s awareness and knowledge on foot care, foot wear and foot conditions.

“Podiatric treatment helps patients in solving and relieving their feet problems. I believe this is significant as these problems will have an impact on patients’ functionality and quality of life. Foot care is especially important in high-risk patients such as diabetic patients with complications of nerve damage and compromised blood circulation. Early podiatric management, including education on simple preventative measures, can reduce the risks of getting wounds and essentially, amputation.

To be a podiatrist, I feel that one must have the passion to help and educate others. And of course, an interest in the lower limb. Podiatric cases can be challenging, requiring good dexterity and judgment. Good interpersonal skill is not only important for patient interactions, but also for effective working in a multidisciplinary team. With regards to qualification required, Podiatry is an undergraduate degree that can only be obtained overseas currently.“

Tiffany Chew

Podiatrist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

PROSTHETISTS & ORTHOTISTS

Reinforcing the human body

Prosthetists and Orthotists are responsible for the assessment, measurement, design and fit of prosthetic and orthotic devices and work closely with technicians during the fabrication process. The prosthetic patients range from paediatrics to geriatrics and present with amputations resulting from diabetes mellitus, trauma and osteosarcoma. The orthotic service covers a diverse range of patients, including paediatric to rehabilitation clinics, Scoliosis treatment, polio, cranial moulding helmets and custom seating and wheelchairs. They will also educate patients on use and care of the prostheses and orthoses as well as conduct follow-up assessments.

“As the one and only Prosthetics and Orthotics department in Singapore , we are always in demand. We have to access patients' activity level and design the prostheses or orthoses to enhance their quality of live. The technicians, the orthopedic doctors and the physiotherapists all work together for the good of the patients.

“You may not always know what to do when faced with a patient with an unusual problem. This is when you should tap on the experiences of your seniors to help you overcome the problems.”

Heidi Mak

Prosthetist & Orthotist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

PSYCHOLOGISTS

Bridging minds to find meaning in life

Psychologists provide clinical psychological services for both inpatients and outpatients within the psychiatric and medical services as a member of a multi-disciplinary team. They assess and intervene with people in dealing with life challenges, particularly those with difficult forms of psychological distress and/ or psychopathology. The range of psychological services includes psychometric assessments of cognitive, personality and neuropsychological functions, as well as various forms of psychotherapies. Psychologists are also a part of a multi-disciplinary team that deals with treatment planning and case management.

“In my line of work, I believe that if you build relationships, the relationships will “build” you, in terms of molding your character and the way you manage life's adversities.

I am humbled to be in the presence of people experiencing growth, change and taking risks to lead the life that is important to them. Most of them shared that after what they had gone through in life, they want to reach out to help others as well.”

Daryl Chow

Senior Psychologist, Institute of Mental Health

RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS

Breathing a healing breath of life

Respiratory Therapists provide basic and advance respiratory care services to patients with deficiencies and abnormalities in the cardio pulmonary system. They will plan, implement and evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic respiratory care services, emergency services and special procedures in the Intensive Care Units for patients to assist physicians in the diagnosis and management of patients with cardio-respiratory diseases and related disorders. They also participate in the ward rounds with the medical team to review and discuss appropriate respiratory therapy for the patients.

"Allied health professionals providing therapy and other healthcare services play an equally important role in patient care. For example, Respiratory Therapists work with the ICU healthcare team to develop a care plan for the patients so they receive the best care to help them recover.”

Lam Hui Lin

Respiratory Therapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

SPEECH THERAPISTS

Communication for a better life

Speech Therapists provide evidence based quality assessment, treatment and holistic management plans for inpatients and outpatients with acquired communication and swallowing difficulties/disorders arising from stroke, brain injury or other neurological injuries, or degenerative disorders.

“Communication is part of our everyday living – we express our needs, our emotions and our aspirations. This makes our existence more interesting and meaningful.

As a Speech Therapist, we help people with communication and swallowing problems. We have the passion to reach out and make a difference in our patient's lives – helping them to attain that quality of life that was taken away by their current condition.”

Teddie Rose Matteo

Speech Therapist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

NURSES

Touching the lives of many

Nurses make assessments on patients’ physical, mental and social well-being, performs medical and nursing procedures and facilitate treatment and care delivery. With the increasing importance of the roles that Nurses play in the healthcare sector, Nurses can now expect enhanced career developments in their relentless pursuit of perfection to transform care. At NHG, Nurses can choose a Nursing Career in 3 broad areas: Clinical Nursing, Nursing Education, and Nursing Administration.

“Nurses are valued members of the healthcare team and recognised for their clinical skills, compassionate care and commitment to care, serve and heal our patients.

As a nurse, you will enjoy the autonomy of professional nursing practice, well designed and specific development for every level of expertise as well as a practice environment conducive for learning and professional development.

We are building nursing core competencies in each specialty in the inpatient and ambulatory areas through collective efforts of Advanced Practice Nurses, NC specialists and Nurse educators.

We explore appropriate technology to complement nursing practice development.

I value the culture in Tan Tock Seng Hospital where it is not rigid. Our supervisors give us many opportunities to be innovative and empower us .Recently we designed the orange T shirt for all the nurses in our unit to wear hoping to cheer up our patients because of the bright colour. There are many other things coming up for Tan Tock Seng Hospital and I want to be part of the team to be involved in making all the new things happen"

Jasmine Tay Lip Shin

Senior Staff Nurse, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

AUDIOLOGISTS

Restoring the gift of hearing

Audiologists are the experts in assessment and non-medical management of hearing and balance disorders. They select, fit, and dispense amplification systems such as hearing aids and implantable hearing devices. They prevent hearing loss through education and fitting of hearing protective devices. They also educate the public and create awareness on the prevention of hearing handicap through early use of amplification.

“Hearing is one of our most vital senses. In many cases, people with hearing loss will withdraw and become socially isolated. Their quality of life diminishes noticeably. Studies have shown that people with hearing loss who do not use hearing aids experience more sadness, fear and anxiety than hearing aid users. My profession could help to improve patient's life quality, not only socially, but also physically (reduce tiredness, vertigo and stress).

An Audiologist needs to have good communication and interpersonal skills, sympathy, sensitivity to client needs, ability to concentrate and pay close attention to details, enjoy working with people, exploring problems in depth and operating equipment."

Chan Soon Chien

Audiologist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

OPTOMETRISTS

Restoring the precious gift of vision

Optometrists perform objective and subjective eye examination to determine the type of refractive error so as to provide patients with the appropriate prescription for the use of getting vision corrective aids such as spectacles and contact lenses. They also provide periphery diagnostic test such as corneal topography, ultrasound pachymetry and intraocular pressure for patients requiring cornea transparent or refractive surgery, and perform both contact and non-contact biometry assessment to determine the parameters required for intraocular implants and ultrasound B scans to elicit the presence of any intra-orbital abnormality.

“My job is more active than a desk-bound job and it allows me to interact with different groups of people. It gives me sense of satisfaction and fulfilment to be able to help people.

With the legislation of the Singapore Optometrist and Opticians Board, we will play a more significant role as the primary eye-care giver in the diagnosis and management of patients. Health is sacred, and what you do affects the well-being of our fellowmen.”

Tan Shih Chia

Optometrist, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

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