The National University Health System (NUHS) is one of three healthcare clusters in Singapore. These clusters provide a full suite of services that adapt to the evolving needs of people in Singapore. However, what makes NUHS stand out is its position as an Academic Health System and its access to a wealth of resources within the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Through the collaboration with NUS, NUHS is able to draw upon the academic and research capabilities to serve not only the needs of existing patients, but also be at the forefront of emerging areas of development in the medical field. The scale of its operations and capabilities allow NUHS to create synergies and more importantly, provide seamless care, develop solutions for Singapore’s healthcare challenges and nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals.
For one, Joey Tan Yu Jun has grown immensely in her fledgeling career as a radiographer at NUHS. She joined the organisation via the Ministry of Healthcare Holdings (MOHH) Healthcare Merit Award Full-Term Overseas Scholarship and is now seven months into the job (at the time of writing).
“As a radiographer, I am responsible for providing prompt imaging services, ensuring safety, as well as delivering good service and care to patients. We facilitate patient diagnosis and management by using X-rays, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, Interventional Angiography, Nuclear Medicine and other forms of imaging technology to create diagnostic images of the human body for analysis and interpretation,” she explained, when asked to elaborate on her role.
Evidently, radiography is varied and wide-encompassing; the exact things that drew Joey to the discipline in the first place.
She added: “I like how radiography is very versatile and is required across many areas. This allows for my work to transcend across departments, and gives me the opportunity to apply and adapt my skills to perform a range of radiographic examinations under different settings and work alongside other healthcare professionals.”
“Personally, radiography stood out to me the most as I found it very interesting to be at the frontline of disease diagnosis and to be able to spot and identify problems; just like a detective.”
In fact, her heart was set on specialising as a radiographer since her days as a student. Back then when she learnt about the MOHH Healthcare Merit Award from BrightSparks, she knew that the scholarship was the best platform from which to pursue her interest and applied immediately. She hasn’t looked back since.
Joey pursued her studies in Melbourne, Australia on the back of the scholarship and like most overseas students, she confessed to learning many lessons from living alone. “My biggest takeaway would be my experience studying overseas,” she cited.
“I enjoyed a very unique and fulfilling student life experience. Not only did I manage to forge lasting friendships and create fond memories, but I also experienced first-hand what it was like living independently; having to pay for bills and doing house chores.”
Apart from an overseas education, Joey was also given the opportunity to go on an internship and a mission trip to Cambodia. Needless to say, she found the experiences uplifting and insightful.
“The MOHH scholarship has given me a lot of opportunities beyond my academic and work journey. For instance, I was offered an internship in MOHH to understand how the back-end processes work to support the ministry. I also had the chance to go for an overseas mission trip to Phnom Penh, where we provided basic healthcare support to the less fortunate. Beyond these experiences, the scholarship also enabled me to get to know and work alongside other scholars with a similar passion and interest in healthcare.”
NUHS ensured that her learning journey never ended, giving her a robust portfolio of work the moment she set foot in the door. It was almost like a duck to water for Joey. She credited her warm and welcoming seniors and colleagues for her smooth transition.
“The team in Department of Diagnostic Imaging (DDI) consists of a good mix of experienced seniors as well as young fresh graduates like myself, making it a warm and welcoming environment as I am not only able to interact and learn from knowledgeable seniors, but also mingle and relate with friends of similar ages,” she said, gratefully.
Beyond radiography, Joey is looking forward to the numerous learning opportunities at NUHS in the near future.
“Scholars can expect to engage in portfolios outside of direct clinical work, such as in areas of quality improvement, conducting research studies and educating juniors,” she enthused.
Indeed, a lot is expected of scholars especially in a large organisation like NUHS. Joey advised students considering a career in healthcare to embrace the challenges.
She said: “NUHS is one of the major clusters in Singapore and NUH itself is a large and established hospital which sees to all kinds of patients.
“However, do not be intimidated because you feel like you are merely a fresh graduate in a large hospital. Instead, you should see it as a great form of exposure and learning experience with the multitude of cases and wide range of services available.”
While she takes professional images of the human body as part of her job, the same ability did not translate to photography as a hobby. Joey bashfully confessed, “I guess radiography and photography are not that similar after all.”
This article was first published in BrightSparks Magazine June 2020. Republished with permission from CareerBuilder Singapore.