Cheong Shu Hui, Senior Cardiac Technologist (second from left) with her team of colleagues whom have forged a strong bond over the past year at NHCS Cardiology @ SKH.
It has been a year since NHCS opened its specialty services at Sengkang General Hospital (SKH).
Curious about the setup in SKH, we travelled to the north-east of Singapore and spoke to two of the key staff who are integral to the new service from day one - Assistant Nurse Clinician (ANC) Raihana Hanim Binte Hashim from the outpatient clinic, NHCS Cardiology @ SKH, and Cheong Shu Hui, Senior Cardiac Technologist from the cardiac laboratory, NHCS Cardiac Diagnostics @ SKH.
Working together hand-in-hand
The outpatient clinic helmed by NHCS cardiologists was officially operational in July 2018. Prior to the service provision, ANC Raihana who was deployed to help in its set up shared “We started setting up the work processes since April, with countless of scenario role-playing and trials of the workflows including testing the queue system and billing codes to ensure that everything goes as planned.”
ANC Raihana Hanim Binte Hashim has had the opportunity to be part of the set-up of the outpatient clinic even before operations began.
“We had to look into every nitty gritty aspect to ensure that we were ready to operate such as multiple testing of our equipment and IT systems to ensure seamless connectivity between image transfer and report generation,” Shu Hui, Senior Cardiac Technologist added.
The team also works closely with the other departments within SKH to ensure that the delivery and coordination of care is seamless to patients. Dr Muhammad Bin Idu Jion, Associate Consultant from the Department of Cardiology, who is managing the inpatient wards at SKH said, “There is great camaraderie among the various teams - NHCS Cardiology @ SKH department and colleagues from General Medicine, Radiology, Emergency and Surgical Departments, as well as with Nursing and Allied Health in SKH!”
ANC Raihana shares the same sentiments, “Though I miss my colleagues at NHCS, the people here have been very welcoming and nice to work with.” She added that the support from SKH team is important, especially the clinic’s nurse manager who has been helping with issues they faced.
“I have had the opportunity to learn many things here. I now administer blood-taking every day so my skills have gotten better!” joked ANC Raihana. In SKH, phlebotomy (also known as blood-taking) rooms are located at every level, and blood-taking is administered by nurses instead of phlebotomists.
ANC Raihana also assists with the Dobutamine Stress Test at the Cardiac Laboratory at SKH. She underwent training at NHCS Cardiac Laboratory prior to taking up this role, “This gives me an opportunity to learn a new skill. My role is to cannulate and administer drugs to the patients to stress their hearts. I have to monitor their electrocardiogram (ECG) to know when to give the drugs.”
Shu Hui shared that over the past year, the cardiac diagnostics team has forged strong bonds, “There are 12 cardiac technologists who were deployed from different teams at NHCS. Though a smaller team here, we get to work more closely together, and with the doctors too, so our team spirit is pretty strong now!”
Dr Kelvin Chua, Consultant from the Department of Cardiology overseeing the outpatient and laboratory services said, “We started from ground zero. Processes are definitely much smoother now. We thank everyone for the efforts. We are seeing more patients now but still have lots to improve, as this is just the beginning."
NHCS Cardiology @ SKH
Sengkang General Hospital
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm
Non-invasive diagnostic tests:
- Electrocardiography (ECG)
- Ambulatory ECG (Holter)
- Spyder ECG
- Handheld ECG
- Ambulatory BP monitoring
- Treadmill stress test
- Tilt-table test
- Echocardiography (including transthoracic, transesophageal, treadmill stress echocardiography and dobutamine stress echocardiography)
- Pacemaker interrogation
Invasive diagnostic cardiac investigations
- Temporary and permanent pacemaker insertions
- Automatic Defbrillator insertions
- Angiogram and angioplasty
- Outpatient clinic – NHCS Cardiology @ SKH
- Cardiac laboratory – NHCS Cardiac Diagnostics @ SKH
- Inpatient wards including a Coronary Care Unit, High Dependency Unit and General Ward with facilities for continuous ECG monitoring via ambulatory telemetry