Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

The Observatory Part Un

August 10, 2011

So, in a bid to find out more about the OT profession, I took a 1/2 day ‘shadow’ at 1 of the community hospitals in SG. The hospital caters to the elderly and has a nursing home attached to it. The OT who kindly showed me around specializes in Geriatrics.

I’ve learnt lots from him which I thought I’d jot down here – So for starters the hospital offers OT opportunities accross various care settings, ranging for the more mobile outpatient patients to those that require critical care, to those who are at the palliative stage.

Therapy extended include activities the patients can partake in with props and equipment to facilitate and strengthen muscle movement to enable them to lead a more active life. The OT plans these activities and has different ones each day, ranging from movies, gardening, morning exercise to cooking. It requires creativity, to see basic things in a different light in order to utilize them as tools to achieve the various therapeutic outcomes. I was shown items like macaroni and string, strength building weights and even a mahjong set which he swears that he has no problem getting the patients to play; which was rather amusing since most of them were reluctant about leaving their bed for any form of treatment.

Therapy is also extended to those patients who were permanently bedridden to prevent further detoriation. These patients, due to prolonged inactivity and the resultant poor blood circulation in the skin, are susceptible to the development of bed sores and other complications like muscle contracture so that their hands and feet become frozen in a claw-like state. Sounds painful? Certainly. It is heart wrenching to see some of the patients in the condition they were in. Nobody wants to fall sick, nobody wants to be left in a situation that they are warranted helpless such that even the most basic of functions like going to the bathroom is impossible to them.

So through my observations – these were the qualities that I feel a candidate should possess in order to do well in this field.

The OT profession is first and foremost, a very giving profession – they endeavour to make a difference, to make life better for others, to empower and enable the patients to return to the activities in their normal lives. Thus, one must really have the heart to give to love this job. This would see them through trying times and demonstrate empathy and sincere care when coaxing a grouchy patient, for example. They play the role of a coach, a cheerleader and a psychologist all rolled into one.

Secondly, he has extraordinary people skills. My OT friend who is working in Geriatics, can converse in Hokkien, Cantonese, Mandarin, English and a very slight smattering of Malay. Even while he was showing me around the wards he was making small talk to the paients, enquiring about their well being etc etc. There is collaborative work to be done, as the OT has weekly meetings and engages the various health professionals like the doctors, nurses, and the medical social worker to discuss the cases and activity plans.

Three, creativity as mentioned above. Incorporating therapy that befits the patient’s condition in an interesting manner, so that it appeals to them.

Next, physical strength is essential, but not debilitating if you lack it. My OT friend was in sports attire, he tells me that they are consistently on their feet and the physical transfer of patients from bed to wheelchair for example, requires strength. However, tere are techniques that will teach you how to move the patients and if 1 person can’t do it alone, 2 or 3 other persons could facilitate.

Finally, a note on the industry for opportunities and pay scale in Singapore. According to him, Singapore is still 10-15 years behind the more developed countries. OT is still not as valued here, as compared to physiotherapy which enables patients to regain function of their lower limbs i.e to walk. Progression is rather stagnant – you start as entry level, then to a senior OT, then to a department head, that is if you have the aptitude for it and make the cut. There are no bonuses to look forward to and pay is on the lower end of the scale. With the same amount of experience, he’d be earning double the amount he makes here, if he moved to Australia and practised there instead. In other words, it probably makes it tough to sustain your passion, since monetary rewards are insufficient to cater to various aspirations. He had seen many who were decent at the work, but leaving the industry, or the country, to pursue other opportunities.

I have never considered healthcare in such depth before, and now, I realize why the policy makers are worried. Singapore is facing the next silver tsunami with our greying population. Our health facilities, while world-class, may not be sufficient to cater to the volume once it hits us. Our healthcare workers are outsourced, because the educated locals shun the type of work. You know you’re in trouble when people start considering the facilities accross the causeway for their aged sick. Healthcare costs are rising. What more can be done?

That is the sad, inevitable path of life – birth, aging, sickness and death. And through it all, I’m thankful and grateful that I’m still in good health. And, moving forward, more eager to live a life worth living, to cherish every precious drop of youth and, contribute in whatever way I can.


the perfect weekend

July 27, 2009

Friday night date at La Cantina in Venezia of Changi Village Hotel. I’d been angling to try the food there for ages, and agreed that I’d treat the bf when my first pay came in. The Linguine Al Granchio (crabmeat linguine) was to. die. for. Super duper happy with the generous chunks of crabmeat in my pasta, I was grinning throughout the meal. Unfortunately though, the space in my tummy was limited and after the appetizer I was semi-full. I couldn’t finish the hefty portion and could only watch regretfully as the waiter cleared my plate away. ( SUCH A WASTE!) My mind was screaming, but I thought it might be unbecoming if I requested to take-away the remnants. Anyway, I’m very much poorer now and can prob only afford to have plain water for lunch for the rest of the month.

My money management skills are rather questionable right now. Although I’m not the type who spends uncontrollably on accessories or clothes, just meeting up with friends for dinner or drinks set me back by too much each time, something I find a struggle to sustain with the amount I earn as a trainee. urgh. So the plan is to embark on an austerity campaign and learn to turn down such invitations, and prob end up with well, no friends. RESTRAINT IS KEY.

Anyway, on to more delightful matters. A close sec school friend got married on saturday, and boy was she beautifully lovely on her big day. My friends and I were drooling over the wedding shots. Both her and her hubby make such a fine looking couple, to the extent that their wedding photos could be easily mistaken for professional commercials. I can so totally imagine them in an advertisement for De Beers/ lifestyle condominiums etc. As can be imagined, being the first of the flock to enter marriagehood, this wedding was the event of the year and widely anticipated amongst us. It was touching, to hear the pride in the groom’s voice when he introduced her as his wife, the teasing, before proceeding to drive her to tears with a hearfelt speech of his love for her. There was nary a dry eye amongst us bridesmaids, and yes, am truly happy that she found her Mr Right. Beautiful weddings always end on a wistful note, leaving people yearning for more. While it marks the new beginning for the next chapter that is to come in the lives of the new couple. For the attendees, questions like, who’ll be next for instance? Or will I ever find that someone, and be as happy as them? float in their minds.

Life moves in mysterious ways, and so it had to be, that our first class gathering of sorts took place 7 years after our classmate’s wedding. The rest of us girls adjourned to White Rabbit at dempsey. We were a rowdy raucous bunch, not much different from 7 years ago. It was good catching up, sharing the girly details of our lives.

Redbull X-Fighters

May 19, 2009

As a result of winning the pitch for Red Bull during my PR strategy class, my team was invited to attend their motor-cross event as their VIP guests. I think their agreement to participate in our course paid off, in the sense that over the course of our project, the consumption of Red Bull spiked (within my class, at least). It was a good way to end with a bang to my final semester in university, and I thoroughly enjoyed working alongside my team-mates!

After a sushi-licious dinner at ichiban boshi we headed down to the Singapore Flyer where the event was held. I’ve never caught a motorcross event before so I was actually looking forward to it. I saw the crowd herding towards the area even before I had dinner, though later we found out it was due in part, to a Tiger Beer football match viewing held in proximity to the motor cross venue.

Red Bull Tent

As we were a tad late, we had to squish through the crowds before locating the VIP area, which had a superb view of the set-up and we were treated to an open bar with freeflow of *guess?* Red Bull drinks.

the "stage"

beneath the singapore flyer

beneath the singapore flyer

And well, these motorbiking daredevils wow-ed the crowd with their gravity defying stunts and tricks in the air. It was heart stopping to watch. It takes just a matter of seconds between the momment where they zip up the ramp on their bikes, become airborne *cue pose/stunt/handstand/backflip* before landing on the other ramp. I find it amazing how these guys live on andrenalin and the edge of life. Playing with their lives as they do, any wrong move could result in serious injury, let alone wrecking their careers.

kids are advised not to try this at home

kids are advised not to try this at home


After that we slowly trooped to Butter Factory for their after-party and took many touristy pictures along the way. All in all a fun night, but I found out the hard way; that too many Red Bull mixers keeps sleep at bay for the entire night. What can I say folks, it gives you wings!

ANTM to be

ANTM to be

strolling down the boardwalk

strolling down the boardwalk

the team

the team

Pointing out spelling errors is what comms students do best

Pointing out spelling errors is what comms students do best

Credits to zm for his photo-graphy skills, mr oh who kindly gave me a lift home, and the nice guys for inviting us to the event. =)