Ms Ng Li Bing’s childhood ambition was to be a shoe salesperson.
The idea of looking through shoeboxes to search for the appropriate sizes for people appealed to her. Also, her mother used to emphasise the importance of having a comfortable and well-fitting pair of shoes to “conquer” the journeys in life.
But the 24-year-old has since found her calling as a prosthetist and orthotist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s Foot Care and Limb Design Centre.
The Healthcare Merit Award scholarship recipient has been working there since receiving her Bachelor of Applied Science and Master of Clinical Prosthetics and Orthotics from La Trobe University last year.
As a prosthetist, her main responsibilities are prescribing, designing and fitting custom prostheses (artificial limbs) for patients who have
had amputation surgery or are born without limbs.
As an orthotist, she assesses, designs and fits suitable orthoses (braces) to patients who require support to their weakened or poor functioning joints or limbs.
Framework for motivation
Interestingly, her father is her career inspiration.
“He is a frame-maker and I am always in awe when I see him turn unattractive pieces of wood into beautiful frames
“I find it very similar to what a prothetist and orthotist does — which is building a frame for an individual so that he or she can lead a more normal life.”
Ms Ng is thankful for her scholarship, which has given her the opportunity to interact with scholars from different disciplines.
Along the way, she has come to know and understand how the specific duties of various allied health professions enable them to provide the best patient-centred care as part of a multidisciplinary team.
She also finds job fulfilment in caring for her patients.
“During the first year of my career, I worked with my first bilateral below-knee amputee patient since graduation.
“The first thing he wanted to do when he first stood up (on his prostheses) was to take a photo with his family. That was such a touching moment. It made me grateful to be able to pursue such a meaningful career.
“It is really satisfying to know that my actions can bring happiness and have a positive impact on someone’s life. It gives me joy to see my patients getting better and on the way to achieving their goals.
“Most importantly, the bonds we share mean a lot to me as well.”