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A heart to lend a helping hand

An unforeseen illness, accident or injury can easily upturn one’s life in an instant, drastically reducing the quality of life. Even the simplest daily task that is often taken for granted can become one of the hardest things to deal with.

This is where an occupational therapist like Ms Teo Xinyun, steps in to assist patients on their road to recovery and regaining independence.

Often, her profession is misunderstood as being a general therapist or physiotherapist. Her job actually requires her to work in multiple settings with a multidisciplinary team consisting of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and medical social workers to determine the best aftercare for patients to help them function independently again.

“We think out of the box to find ways for patients to return to their valued activities, routines or even occupations,” she explains.

“Sometimes they simply want to be heard as they go through frustrating situations. So you need to listen with your heart.”

The 26-year-old runs a daily outpatient group therapy for patients of differing functional and medical conditions at Changi General Hospital. A major part of her job focuses on providing caregiver training to ensure a safe and competent level of assistance to help seniors age in place.

Ms Teo loves collaborating with her patients and their caregivers. She finds fulfilment when she sees how she has helped to make a positive impact in their recovery.

“The job can be challenging and demanding, but it is the commitment to accompany the patients through their rehabilitation journeys and knowing you can make a difference in their lives that makes it rewarding,” she adds.

Improving lives
Ms Teo got interested in occupational therapy when she did volunteer work at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore after her A levels. It was during that period when she learnt how the physical and mental aspects of recovery were addressed through therapy. She also noticed how the individuals made progressive improvements in their motor skills and gained confidence after undergoing therapy.

The stint inspired her to take up a diploma in Occupational Therapy at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). Upon completing her course in 2016, she received the Healthcare Merit Award, previously named Health Science and Nursing Scholarship.

The scholarship from MOH Holdings is offered to outstanding third-year diploma holders or recent diploma graduates in the relevant healthcare disciplines who are keen to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the relevant course.

The degree, which is awarded by Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, can be attained through a one-year programme conducted at Singapore Institute of Technology.

The course provided solid fundamentals and gave her deeper insight on how her profession can play a role in supporting the healthcare system. She also got to visit the campus in Dublin as part of a six-week exchange programme. 

Looking back, Ms Teo feels that the scholarship has afforded her an invaluable opportunity in continuing her education and fully immersing herself in her studies without any financial worry. She encourages those who are keen to apply for the scholarship to participate in networking events and reach out to MOH Holdings for a better understanding of the programmes offered.

Embark on a fulfilling career in healthcare with Healthcare Scholarships. Visit for more information.