Superstar Senior Therapy Assistant – Chew Yam Poh, Senior Therapy Assistant, Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital
This is the first in mosAIC’s profile series featuring selected Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2019 (SHQSA) Superstar Award winners. mosAIC speaks to Mdm Chew on what her win means to her.
"It was during my mother’s stay in hospital that opened my eyes to the profession. As I watched the therapists assist my mother, I instantly felt that their jobs meant so much to the patients and their family. It was seven years ago when I joined the healthcare industry at the encouragement of a friend and I haven’t looked back since.
In 2013, I joined the Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital and started working with dementia patients. I organise regular games and activities such as mahjong, bingo and handicraft to keep them engaged. Caring for dementia patients and handling their unpredictable moods can be challenging, but this only encourages me to do more for them.
In 2016, under the “RELEARN” programme, I worked with a team of six regular volunteers to increase patients’ rehabilitation potential through different exercises and activities using music, arts and crafts. The patients were initially reluctant to participate, and we had to coax them to take part in the activities. It took us a few weeks to gain their trust, but we’re happy that the patients now look forward to the activities.
Looking back, one of my proudest achievements was when a patient became a volunteer! This patient had attended my art class, and was inspired by what we do and came back as a volunteer after being discharged. She is now leading one of the craft classes at the hospital. I am glad to have made a difference in this patient’s life and also motivated her to help others.
In 2018, I took the Professional Diploma in Leadership and People Management to upgrade myself so that I can better care for my patients. With my Superstar Award win at the SHQSA, I am motivated to do even more. I have recently taken flower arrangement classes with the intention of introducing it as a new activity for my patients and my next goal is to attend English classes so that I can better communicate with patients who are not conversant in Mandarin and dialects. As a healthcare professional, we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve the patient experience."