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She has a masters in gerontology so that she can better assist elderly patients
By Goh Hwee Koon
Ms Nur Amalina Mohamed Noor’s passion for gerontology led her to build a career in the community care sector.
PHOTO: FRENCHESCAR LIM

Ms Nur Amalina Mohamed Noor finds satisfaction in developing rehabilitative regimens to help those who need therapy for mobility issues

Ms Nur Amalina Mohamed Noor enjoys what she describes as “long-term relationships” with her patients.

She works at a community hospital where patients often stay for almost a month, compared with less than a week on average in an acute care setting.

With increasing cases of chronic illnesses in a rapidly ageing population, the role of community hospitals is expected to grow to meet the burgeoning need for healthcare.

For those who received treatment in acute care hospitals, care does not necessarily end completely when they get discharged. Ms Nur Amalina says she has noticed that there is a greater shift towards providing care in the community.

“The idea is to enable patients to receive appropriate care in the community so that they can avoid frequent hospital admissions. This resonated with me and strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in the sector,” she explains.

The 35-year-old is currently the head of Ren Ci Hospital’s rehabilitation department where she oversees therapy services for patients who suffer from mobility problems caused by ageing-related joint, muscle and nerve disorders.

Ms Nur Amalina’s interest in human anatomy and the intricacies of human movements led her to pursue a diploma in physiotherapy at Nanyang Polytechnic. Her healthcare career began in 2009 as a physiotherapist at Changi General Hospital after graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) from the University of Sydney in Australia.

She left in 2014 to work as a contract physiotherapist at Bright Vision Hospital for four months. Within the same year, she joined Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Ren Ci Hospital as a contract staff, splitting her work days to support each hospital over the course of three months.

Over time, her passion for gerontology took root and led her to build a career in the community care sector which aims to help seniors live well and age gracefully both at home and in the community. 

PURSUING FURTHER STUDIES FOR GROWTH

Ms Nur Amalina became a full-time senior physiotherapist at Ren Ci Hospital in 2015. A year later, with the support of the Ren Ci Hospital Training Sponsorship, she pursued a Master of Science in Gerontology at King’s College London in the United Kingdom, where she learnt more about various healthcare systems and policies in other countries.  

She obtained her master’s degree in 2017. Although the full-time postgraduate programme was not clinical-based and not specific to physiotherapy, it covered a wide range of disciplines, including geriatrics, demography, policy analysis and sociology, and provided her with a macro perspective on how she could make an even bigger difference.

“At the end of the day, you don’t just treat a condition but manage the person as a whole,” she says. “An elderly patient may present with multiple conditions, so you need to understand the kind of collective impact that can affect the patient’s overall health.

“It is important to have breadth and depth of knowledge as well as skills to deal with the complexity of their various conditions. Being able to care for patients holistically brings me great satisfaction.”

Looking back, she appreciates the professional development opportunities she has received over the years – from working as a physiotherapist in both acute care and community care settings in the early part of her career to picking up both clinical and operational skills at Ren Ci Hospital.

“Leading the rehabilitation department at Ren Ci Hospital has given me the opportunity to make a bigger impact on healthcare. It is one of my career highlights to be able to drive initiatives and rethink new models of care. Our organisation aspires to be the leader in rehabilitation in the community and one of the areas of focus is how we can transform rehabilitation care,” says Ms Nur Amalina.

She hopes to see other healthcare warriors tap on the Community Care Scholarship to build a career in the sector and make a difference in community care.

Visit healthcarescholarships.sg for more information.

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