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Meet our Healthcare Scholars: Jace Ng

Good Morning everyone! My name is Jace and I am a first year student studying Physiotherapy at the Singapore Institute of Technology. I am one of the recipients of the Community Care Scholarship, allocated to AWWA, which is part of Singapore's Community Care Sector that Agency for Integrated Care - AIC Singapore is helping to develop.

Physiotherapy is a field of study that aptly combines the use of medical knowledge and creative adaptations of exercises and equipment to deliver treatment. The goal is to help clients regain bodily function so that they can return to performing daily activities competently and independently. 

Exercise has always been an indispensable part of my life. Upon learning that Physiotherapy primarily utilises various exercises and appropriate modifications to help others, which sparked my interest in this discipline. My attachments at hospitals and personal experience of undergoing Physiotherapy have made me admire the work of a Physiotherapist. This profession goes far beyond just simple diagnosis and treatment; they give life back to individuals by helping them recuperate and pursue their passion confidently. 

I also really appreciate the fine balance between structure and fluidity of the profession. While diagnosis requires a systematic approach, there is room for creativity in adapting treatment to each client’s specific circumstances. The journey of tailoring the best course of treatment through intimate interaction and rapport building with patients is what makes this career truly fulfilling. These experiences and insights cemented my conviction to become a Physiotherapist.

One of the reasons why exercise is an inseparable part of my life stems from the influence of my grandparents. For as long as I can remember, they faithfully commit to waking up before dawn daily to exercise, rain or shine. Despite their debilitating health over the years, they never used it as an excuse to stop staying active. Rather, it spurred them on further to continue exercising so that they can live well in their later years. 

This unwavering commitment of theirs is a rare sight among the elderly population. My personal interactions with many of them through volunteering have revealed that many view exercising as an overly strenuous activity that they are incapable of carrying out. Some also perceive Physiotherapy as a hassle that yields no immediate, positive results on their health despite suffering from prolonged pain in their joints. 

Choosing to focus on Community Care then became an obvious choice for me as I aspire to share the same spirit my grandparents hold dear to with others. On top of providing professional medical care and treatment, I believe that encouraging and motivating the Silver Generation that they are able to perform simple exercises will go a long way in helping them in the long term. I believe that there is much potential in focusing on preventive care (through exercising) even though physiotherapy is usually associated with rehabilitation. I want to be able to bring this positivity and knowledge to my patients when I eventually start work! One indelible memory was when I was assigned to walking exercises with an elderly patient. He was initially non-compliant to treatment as he perceived his walking exercises as simplistic. When I discovered his cooking hobby, I reasoned with him that although the exercises seemed mundane, they would help him return to cooking faster and also help in his daily chores. He was then motivated to follow through with the exercises and recovered quickly. When he was discharged, he expressed his gratitude towards my support and companionship. This memory reaffirmed my passion in joining the healthcare sector and I have no regrets!

For juniors who are keen to join the healthcare sector, I will advise you to proactively search for attachments with the different healthcare institutions and engage with the senior healthcare professionals to find out more about what goes on in their work. There are many different and unique healthcare disciplines so it is of utmost importance to find out which one suits you best and if being a part of the healthcare sector is truly your calling. Attending attachments will also enable you to better understand how the different healthcare professionals complement one another to deliver effective interdisciplinary care. These first hand experiences are invaluable in deepening your understanding of the healthcare sector.

Give it a try! You may just find your calling in life 😊

Story adapted from Facebook.