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Engaging people in therapeutic activities

Taking care of patients is more than an occupation — it is a vocation.

For occupational therapist Yip You Ming, she found her calling during her teenage years.

“I feel that occupational therapy matches my interests and allows me to be creative in my interventions,” the 24-year-old says. “It is interesting as it looks at individuals as multifaceted and holistic beings.”

A recipient of the MOH Holdings’ Healthcare Merit Award, Ms Yip obtained a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy after studying three
years at Nanyang Polytechnic and her fourth year at Singapore Institute of Technology-Trinity College Dublin.

The scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who are passionate about public healthcare.

Since graduating in 2017, Ms Yip has already had her fair share of career highlights.

Now an occupational therapist at Sengkang General Hospital, she shares some of the best parts of pursuing this job:

Playing an active role
in patient care Ms Yip attends to patients with different conditions such as dementia and stroke.

“I assess their ability to perform daily activities such asdressing and showering themselves, managing money and community mobility and work towards achieving their goals with them.”

She sees patient care as a top priority of her job.

“At the end of the day, we want to ensure that the patient is safe within and beyond the hospital,” she says.

Different forms of therapy
“I started work as an occupational therapist two years ago and I believe I have been given many opportunities to showcase my skills and interests,” Ms Yip says.

For one, she has been assigned to plan the hospital’s Occupational Therapy Day on Jan 10, 2020.

Recently, she has also taken the initiative to start therapeutic horticulture in the hospital, which uses gardening or other plant-related activities as a form of therapy.

Being a scholar has also helped her grow in her career.

“The scholarship department organised a meet-up session with senior scholars to share about their challenges at work, and I think that helped me greatly in shaping my perspective and feel reassured that I am not alone in this journey and is well-supported.”

Outside hospital work, she volunteers her time for the elderly at Calvary Community Care, where she helps to organise events for seniors to stay active in the community.

Bearing witness to patients’ milestones
For Ms Yip, the most memorable day in her career so far is seeing a patient with dementia light up when they performed doll therapy for the first time.

“Doll therapy helps individuals with dementia reminisce about their role as a mother and their experiences with child-rearing, and it can be used to improve patients’ moods and encourage more activity,” she explains.

“I was glad that it was a success and that her family was open and supportive in continuing the therapy at home.

“It made me feel proud of my profession and the creative ways we use to engage patients,” she adds.