It was like one big family together.
I have vivid memories of how my father was ill and was hospitalised during the SARS period. Back then, I was only 7 years old and families were strictly not allowed to visit to prevent further infection. We could only communicate via mobile phone. I remember those days hearing his frail voice through phone calls. It was a very tough time for our family but the medical team was very empathetic and made it a point to update us about his condition constantly. That was when we knew that my father was in good hands. Words could not describe how happy and relieved I was when my father was finally discharged. Our family was very grateful for the level of care and professionalism of those who had worked tirelessly to take such great care of him. Since then, I knew I wanted to join healthcare and started looking for a career that could impact individuals in meaningful ways.
As a HR administrator, my job mainly focuses on recruitment and hiring. It allows me to learn the diverse roles and responsibilities within the hospital. When Covid-19 first hit our shore, it seemed that our country had the situation under control until it surged in the migrant worker dormitories. It saddened me to know that these men were struggling by themselves in a foreign country. So I responded to NUHS call for volunteers as part of the national focus and joined its serology team in testing migrant workers at dormitories with suspected infection.
It was not an easy decision to make. My family was very worried but they eventually supported me as I was very determined to be part of the fight against Covid-19. They understood that helping others was the reason why I wanted to join healthcare in the first place. Despite not having any volunteer experience, I chose to commit and helped out in the dormitory twice a week. In the beginning, I was assigned to do registration and ushering. After one to two weeks, I became more heavily involved in the serology testing operations as I took on the team lead role to oversee the team’s logistics planning. This was an experiential learning at its best, when I had to manage the manpower deployment, logistics, ordering of stock and transport arrangements on top of my daily HR work.
As it involved blood taking for about 1,800 people in 4 hours, I had to ensure everything went smoothly and quickly. There was great synergy amongst the team. Everyone was very supportive and worked longer hours under the harsh environment. It energised me when I saw how people from different institutions were working closely as a team. It was like one big family together. Even though it was very tiring and stressful, at the end of the day, I was happy that I was able to help the migrant workers. Despite the language barrier, many were appreciative and would thank us profusely for our assistance.
Since then, my confidence has grown. This experience has definitely helped me to improve my people skills, critical thinking and decision-making under intense situations. I am very proud to have been part of the team to contribute to our nation’s fight against the pandemic.
Rebecca Koh Hwee Kwan
About Ng Teng Fong General Hospital & Jurong Community Hospital
The Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) and Jurong Community Hospital (JCH) are members of the National University Health System (NUHS), a leading academic health system and one of three public healthcare clusters in Singapore.
Known as the JurongHealth Campus, NTFGH and JCH are Singapore’s first integrated healthcare development designed and built together from the ground up. Designed around the patients’ needs, the twin development enables NTFGH patients who no longer require acute care to be easily transferred to rehabilitate and recuperate in JCH. Both hospitals are also managed by one healthcare team to facilitate integration at all levels to enable better patient care, greater efficiency and convenience. NTFGH is also the first in Singapore and ASEAN to attain HIMSS EMRAM Stage 7, with JCH at HiMSS EMRAM Stage 6 – an achievement which recognises hospitals with the highest level of adoption and utilisation of electronic medical record functions.
As part of an integrated academic health system, NTFGH and JCH, in collaboration with partners in the healthcare continuum, aims to transform healthcare to deliver holistic and seamless patient-centred care.
For more information, please visit www.ntfgh.com.sg | www.jch.com.sg | www.nuhs.edu.sg
Delivering ‘Incredible care and health, together!’