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Getting the balance right

As a junior podiatrist at Changi General Hospital three years ago, Ms Sing Pei Kheng’s work day involved providing regular foot care services such as nail trimming and callus removal under the guidance of her seniors.

These days, the 25-year old Healthcare Merit Award scholarship recipient has since progressed to shouldering greater responsibilities, which include attending to wound care patients and treating sports patients.

While her current focus is mostly on diabetic foot wound care, she and her colleagues work closely with the hospital’s vascular surgeons to help manage patients’ pre- and post-surgery care.

They also help to manage additional wounds and deformities that may occur following the initial surgery’s healing period.

This promotes patients’ good quality of life despite their condition.

Once or twice a week, Ms Sing runs the Sport and Exercise Medicine clinics and treats mostly athletes with sports-related injuries.

Such work is carried out in conjunction with physiotherapists and sports doctors to provide a more holistic approach to healing.

Stepping up to her role
Ms Sing always knew she wanted to work in the healthcare industry.

She was inspired by the hospice nurses who worked round the clock to care for her cancer-stricken grandfather during
his last days.

She started looking at potential careers in healthcare during her first year of junior college, and came across the scholarships offered by MOH Holdings.

After doing her own research on various medical disciplines, she found podiatry, prosthetics, and orthotics very interesting.

“I requested to shadow a podiatrist after completing myA levels and had the opportunity to be attached to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Foot Care and Limb Design Centre for a day. I was able to observe podiatrists, prosthetists and orthotists work, and felt more inclined towards podiatry,” she recalls.

Through her scholarship, she obtained a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Podiatry from the University of Southampton in 2016.

Stand and deliver
While no two works days may be the same, the challenges that come with her role remain a constant.

She explains: “The biggest challenge is managing patients’ and their family members’ expectations.

“While our goal is to provide the best care and treatment for everyone, the success of a particular treatment depends on the patient’s comorbidities (the presence of one or more additional concurrent conditions), lifestyle choices and willingness to embrace change.

“It is important that there is effective communication between us and the patient so that he is fully aware of what a particular treatment might entail.”

To those who are considering a similar scholarship, she has the following piece of advice: The experiences and opportunities provided by MOH Holdings are aplenty. If you are unsure of the profession, request to have an opportunity to shadow a professional because that helped firm up her decision to take up the podiatry scholarship.

She says: “Despite the challenges, healthcare is a very rewarding job. I also provide voluntary podiatric services at the hospice that my grandfather was at — a place that still means a lot to me.

“And seeing my patients get better and return to their normal life always warms my heart.”