Photographers of the human body – that’s how radiographer Letty Chong, 26, describes her job at Singapore General Hospital. She captures images by using an X-ray machine. The pictures she takes help doctors and radiologists see what’s going on inside the human body.
Outside of work, Ms Chong enjoys solving jigsaw puzzles. She has a small collection at home, about 30 sets of jigsaw puzzles of various shapes, sizes and designs.
“There are similarities between jigsaw puzzles and radiography, and I enjoy doing both. They keep me thinking and give me a sense of achievement when I solve them.”
“Working in the field of medicine was a childhood dream but I didn’t exactly have radiography in mind back then,” adds Ms Chong, who studied biomedical science at Ngee Ann Polytechnic before deciding to pursue radiography.
During her polytechnic days, she realised that she enjoyed studying medical images for anomalies. She pursued her Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging (Honours) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
“I knew my parents wouldn’t be able to afford my university fees if I chose to go overseas, especially since they’re paying for my brother’s education at the same time,” says Ms Chong. To reach her dream of becoming a radiographer, she sought financial help from MOH Holdings (MOHH) by applying for the Healthcare Merit Award, which was previously known as the Health Science and Nursing Scholarship.
“I heard about it at the MOHH booth at the university fair during my final year at the polytechnic. It was also the time when I decided to pursue radiography. I applied for the scholarship to take the financial load off my parents.”
Her favourite things
Ms Chong sees radiography as a path that caters for a good mix of her interests: Problem solving, healthcare and a good balance of human interaction.
“I enjoy the interaction time with my patients,” she says. “Every patient is different and everyone brings a different set of challenges in terms of positioning and achieving the images the doctors are looking for. It’s up to me to make the patients feel comfortable during the process.”
Ms Chong says she still has a lot to learn. “I am focused on honing my skills and gaining more experience. I do not have detailed career plans but I do want to head back to university for a master’s degree and PhD. Currently, I am slowly moving towards the education pathway for radiography and I am seeing myself becoming a clinical educator in the near future.”