Healthcare is a diverse environment with staff of varying professions, experiences, talents, backgrounds, and age. With an ageing population and evolving healthcare landscape, it is imperative for healthcare employers to continuously enhance the employability and sustainability of the workforce, and for staff to stay relevant in their skillsets to care for patients.

Since 2018, Cardiac Clinics has embarked on a job redesign and upskill programme for our ancillary staff. Five of the programme’s first batch of proud graduands were featured in CardioConnect and our social media platforms to better recognise their efforts. If you missed the article, click here to check out their stories. 

Into the fifth year of the programme, Irene Teo, Executive from Cardiac Clinics shared that 32 staff, comprising Patient Services Associates, Patient Services Assistants and Health Care Assistants, have completed training, and are now empowered to perform cross-functional roles. “Through the programme, we have been able to identify staff with higher potential of learning and offer them training in more areas to further expand their skillsets,” shared Teeu Keng San, Assistant Director, Cardiac Clinics. 

We shine the spotlight on six of our newly trained colleagues.

Role redesign breathes new life into her career

Rasidah Bte Abdul Rahman, Health Care Assistant, was previously involved in dispatching documents to other departments before undergo training at Cardiac Clinics. 

What does your new role involve?
I am now stationed at Patient Assessment at Cardiac Clinics, where I take the height, weight and blood pressure measurements for patients, as well as assess their fall risk. During the training, my preceptor taught me how to operate the blood pressure machine and update the measurements taken into the electronic medical records system. Besides these, I was also trained to man the self-service kiosks and help patients in wayfinding in the clinic. 

What challenges did you encounter while learning the new role?
It was challenging initially for me to use the computer to input patient’s data as I had not used computer for a long time! Through the hands-on practice, I can now manage various applications on the computer, and am determined to do my best in my job.

Now that your role has changed – what is the most satisfying part of your job?
I feel most satisfied seeing patients smiling and expressing their gratitude when they leave my workstation. At times, there may be patients who express impatience and do not understand our work processes, for example, when I have to re-measure their blood pressure due to an initial high reading. However, I have learnt to handle such situations calmly. I feel privileged to have this opportunity to expand my knowledge and contribute to the department.

Multi-skilled clinic ladies

Rohaini Binte Rosman, Patient Service Associate (PSA) and Angie Leow, Senior PSA were performing duo roles - assisting doctors during consultation and performing counter duties such as registration and payment at Cardiac Clinics and Clinical Laboratory – prior to undergoing further training at Cardiac Radiology and Pharmacy.

What challenges did you encounter while learning the new role? 
Angie: I was delighted to be given the opportunity again to broaden my expertise. Now at Cardiac Radiology, I help with  registration, appointment booking and payment via various systems, and prepare patients for their scans including putting on ECG pads and taking their blood pressure. At Pharmacy, I was taught on the billing processes for outpatient and medication delivery.
Rohaini: I felt excited when I knew I had a chance to upskill my roles at Cardiac Radiology. Although it was daunting especially in using a different system, with the help of my preceptor and radiographers, I was able to pick up the skills successfully! 

What is the most satisfying part of your new role?
Angie: While my role in appointment booking may seem easy, there is a downstream impact if it is not done correctly. For instance, a wrong entry selected in one system affects the downstream process such as the billing of patients. Through time and practice, I am glad that I managed to learn how to correct the processes. Being able to contribute to both departments gives me a sense of achievement!

Rohaini: The most satisfying part of the job is to be able to apply the knowledge I learnt from Cardiac Radiology at the Cardiac Clinics. Now, while assisting doctors, I can confidently explain more about the protocols needed for certain scans to the patients.

How do your family and colleagues feel about your new role?
Angie: My family is happy and supportive of my upskilling journey, and not forgetting the support from my peers!

Rohaini: My family and colleagues have provided me with immense support throughout this journey and they are proud to have contributed to my success in my new role.

Hewasinhalage Chandralatha Padmini, Patient Services Assistant, and Jalawati Binte Hamzah, Patient Services Associate Executive (PSAE), were stationed at Cardiac Radiology before attending the training programme. Padmini assisted patients prior to their scans and monitored them post-scans to ensure their safety and well-being, while Jalawati helped patients with registration, payment and appointments to ensure a smooth experience. 

How did you feel when you were selected for training?
Padmini: I felt a sense of accomplishment to be given the opportunity to upgrade my skills and knowledge.

Jalawati: I felt honoured as this opportunity is an affirmation of my supervisors’ confidence in my abilities to adapt to new tasks. 

What challenges did you encounter while training for the new role?
Padmini: I had worked for more than two decades in Cardiac Radiology, hence the training for my new role at Cardiac Clinics was a challenge initially. Not only did I have to learn new skills, I had to cope with a new environment. To overcome this, I diligently took notes to help me learn better, and of course, took on the new tasks with a positive mindset. 

Jalawati: The first thing I had to learn was to assimilate into the new work culture and environment, that is to better understand their working styles, and to build rapport with my new colleagues. With the upskilling programme, my role expanded to assisting and chaperoning doctors during consultations and booking appointments for procedures and investigations. In addition, at Cardiac Radiology, I assist radiographers and nurses to measure and monitor the heart rate of patients using the ECG machine.

How do your family and colleagues feel about your new role?
Padmini: My colleagues are happy with my growth in this job and my daughter is proud that I have persevered. 

Jalawati: They are proud that I am able to get out of my comfort zone and contribute greatly to the organisation. I sincerely appreciate the guidance and support from my colleagues throughout my journey. 

Carolyn Ang Ai Choo, PSAE, was responsible for raising repeat prescriptions for patients and providing navigational aid to patients in Cardiac Clinics prior to her training in counter duties.

How did you feel when you were selected for training?
I was glad that the department offered me the opportunity to continue my learning journey which empowered me to remain relevant to the organisation.

What challenges did you encounter while learning the ropes?
I was trained at Cardiac Clinics where I gained skills in performing registration and appointment. Although I may encounter difficulties at times, I strive to overcome these through continuous learning and practice.

What is the most satisfying part of your new role?
Being able to overcome the hurdle of picking up a new skill and see happy and grateful patients at the end their visits, is a great accomplishment!

How do your family and colleagues feel about your new role?
My family and colleagues are very supportive and encouraging about my new role. To me, it has been a highly rewarding experience. 

Check out the latest posters of our newly upskilled colleagues at Cardiac Clinics, TV screens at the lift lobby and on NHCS social media! We are so proud of all of you!