What It's Like Being A Healthcare Assistant In Community Care
Name: Kulathungage Ranjith Sumanaweera Kulathunga
Occupation: Senior Healthcare Assistant
Years of experience: 15 Years
Education background: Bachelor of Science business Administration Degree (University of Sri Jaywardanapura - Sri Lanka)
Years with All Saints Home: 7 years
Top 3 skills: Team management, Communication, Creativity
Best lesson learned on the job: How to work with staff from different countries, cultures and understanding (e.g. working with special needs staff)
Why did you become a healthcare assistant?
I was looking for a job overseas and realised that Singapore has many job opportunities. I wanted to broaden my horizons and build on new skills by trying out a different field, in a different country. After much thought, I believe that the Healthcare sector would be a good place to start as I could gain new experiences and help support others who are in need.
Was this your first job?
No. Before I came to Singapore, I was the acting head of branch in a leasing company in Sri Lanka.
What do you like about your job?
I enjoy working as a Senior Healthcare Assistant because I get to gain good working experience by working with my colleagues, contributing to improvements, and being involved in projects. I have also learnt how to communicate effectively in a professional manner to colleagues and vendors to achieve the desired results. As such, I have grown to become a respected supervisor among my colleagues and service providers.
What are some of the reactions you usually get when you tell people what you do?
Most of them would think that my work comes with many responsibilities and is stressful as the responsibility of the Nursing team is to ensure that the organisation as a whole runs smoothly.
There are challenges in my line of work such as miscommunication with colleagues and working with a short lead time, since we have to coordinate and communicate with the various departments to ensure things get done.
How would you describe your job to someone who has never heard of it?
I work in a social service agency providing eldercare to the vulnerable and chronically ill residents and clients. Our mission is to provide quality care, bring joy and comfort, and honour the dignity of residents in a caring Christian environment.
What are the expectations of being a Senior Healthcare Assistant?
My responsibilities include educating my team on any new advisories received from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), and ensuring my team adheres to these guidelines. We also have to maintain proper records of the preventive maintenance of medical equipment done by our suppliers, contractors and other service providers for audit purposes.
One of my other responsibilities is to help any new foreign staff that have joined All Saints Home settle down with the new environment and ensure that the staff understands our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and workflows.
What is the best thing about your job?
My work gives me joy when I receive appreciation and compliments from my colleagues after the completion of projects, services as requested.
Describe a day in your work life.
6.30am – I wake up and get ready for work. I perform the Antigen Rapid Test (ART) as required to ensure I am safe and healthy to better protect the residents and clients in our care. Upon reaching the centre I will have breakfast, after which I will go through what needs to be done for the day with my colleagues while adhering to the social distancing measures.
9.30am – I will assist the Nursing team in looking after the needs and well-being of our residents. Some tasks may include cleaning the beds or the wards in general.
11am – I will go for my rounds to ensure that the beds and floors in my team's wards are disinfected according to the MOH’s disinfection control standards.
12nn – I will collect my lunch from the kitchen and have my food in the dormitory to minimise contact with the others. I will use this free time to call my family in Sri Lanka to check on them.
1pm – Should there be any shortage of manpower in the team, I will do my best to take on more responsibilities to ensure our work runs smoothly.
3pm— As part of the Dementia Friendly project planning committee, I regularly attend meetings and brainstorming sessions with our Nursing team, Rehabilitation team and Operations team on the improvement of the Home’s living and safety environment for our residents.
4pm – I knock off work and relax for the rest of the day by going on the Internet or call my family.
9.30pm – I go to sleep to stay recharged for the next day of work.