As a teenager, Mr Tsurayuki Murakami Guanzhi, enjoyed watching a variety of documentaries on humanitarian work. Little did he know then that he would continue to be inspired by the altruistic work he saw on screen. The 30-year-old is pursuing a career as a senior prosthetist and orthotist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH).
Q: Have you always wanted to work in healthcare?
I’ve always admired the selflessness of humanitarian workers volunteering in developing countries. I was in junior college when I started going on volunteering trips to rural areas in Thailand and the Philippines. Since then, my ambition to work in healthcare has grown over the years.
Q: What led you to apply for the Healthcare Merit Award, previously known as the Health Science and Nursing Scholarship, offered by MOH Holdings?
The scholarship offers an array of unique healthcare programmes. It was an invaluable opportunity to pursue my dream while studying at an accredited institution overseas. When I received the scholarship in 2010, I applied for the four-year degree programme in Bachelor of Science (Prosthetics & Orthotics) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. It is an internationally well-regarded institution in the profession of
prosthetics and orthotics.
Q: Why do you focus on prosthetics and orthotics?
They stood out when I was doing research on the various fields. They require both medical and engineering aspects, which intrigued me. So I went for job shadowing experiences at TTSH with its Physiotherapy Cardiopulmonary team, and Prosthetics and Orthotics team. The stint solidified my interest.
Q: What makes your job fulfilling?
I manage a wide range of patient population groups daily. This involves assessments for a new prosthetic or orthotics device, or reviewing current ones for adjustments and repairs. I also work in paediatrics. This is one of the most fulfilling parts of my job. Some infants may have some kind of birth deformity or mobility issues, so I work closely with them to assist them with their mobility as they grow up. As I get to watch them grow up over the years, some of them may establish a personal connection with me. This makes my work really fulfilling.
Q: What are the common misconceptions about this profession that you wish to debunk?
Some patients expect instant recovery. The efforts of a multidisciplinary team, as well as the commitment and motivation of the patient, are required over a continuous phase of rehabilitation before realistic goals can be achieved.
Q: What are attributes needed to succeed in this line of work?
You need an altruistic personality, a hands-on mentality for the technical aspect of the job, and a keen interest in current and future trends and technologies of the field.
Q: Any advice for graduating students who are considering a scholarship?
Go for job shadowing opportunities and research on the patient population groups specific to that profession. Participate in volunteer activities with these groups to better understand their needs and how you can address them before you pursue the scholarship.
Embark on a fulfilling career in healthcare with Healthcare Scholarships. Visit www.healthcarescholarships.sg for more information.