My name is Zoey Ang and I am a Healthcare Merit Scholarship (previously known as Health Science Scholarship) recipient. I graduated from the University of Sydney in 2015 and have been working as a Diagnostic Radiographer (DR) at National Healthcare Group Diagnostics since then.
As a DR, I get to meet numerous patients on a daily basis. There was once I saw a patient with dementia who came with her caregiver to get her mammogram done. The scan was done as usual but before she left, she gave me a bright smile and reached out to give me a thank you pat. That small gesture really warmed my heart and I still recall it vividly today. Other patients I see ask me if I had my lunch or even look out for me during the examinations as they were worried the moving machine might hit my head. People might not know it, but these small gestures are fondly remembered by healthcare workers because it shows their appreciation. Even a simple ‘Thank You’ from patients would brighten up my day!
A typical day at work starts with quality check tests on the machines and equipment. The machines play an important role in my work, hence I would need to ensure that everything is working well before I receive the first patient of the day. Depending on my roster, I usually perform either the General X-ray or Mammogram examinations for patients. Although my interaction with patients is limited to the time during the examinations, I always make an effort to build rapport with the patients just to make sure they are comfortable. I find that this makes their experience much more positive.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have increased our infection control measures to ensure that our equipment, machines and surroundings are well cleaned and disinfected. It is also vital for us to stay vigilant and keep up to date with the current situation so that we can render appropriate care for our patients. Such times are not easy, but at the end of the day, it is all about protecting our patients, colleagues and loved ones while providing care.
While I was doing my clinical attachment in Australia as a student, I experienced a case where a mother brought her baby in for a femur X-ray. At first glance, it seemed like a regular case where the baby got injured while playing. However, we noticed the mother appeared uneasy throughout the examination. Upon further examination, we determined that the baby suffered from a fracture at an unusual place. This caused my supervisor to be concerned. The main lesson I learnt is that we have to be prepared for such cases that don’t appear in textbooks. It made me realise that besides playing the main role of producing good diagnostic images, a DR (or any healthcare worker) can also play an important part in safeguarding and supporting those who are in vulnerable situations. This experience was also applicable in my working life. After I graduated and started work, I came across a similar case and was glad that my previous experience helped me to make the correct decision in alerting the attending doctor.
For aspiring healthcare scholars, I would like share that it can be tough and demanding when you first join the vast healthcare family. However, don’t worry because there will always be wonderful people (even your own patients) around, who will support and cheer you on! Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zones and ask questions when in doubt. At the same time, it is also crucial to take care of yourself so that you are in a good position to look after your patients and restore their health.
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