Patients going for their medical appointments at Clinic P at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) are often pleasantly surprised when Jess greets them by name.

In 2004, Jess left her desk-bound job as an accounts assistant to become a patient service associate at KKH. The job appealed to her as she could serve patients and help those who are feeling vulnerable.

Jess is part of the care team that looks after patients with scoliosis. Most are children and teenagers as scoliosis is a condition which causes sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during a child’s growth spurt just before puberty.

With her caring and warm personality, Jess has built many close relationships with her young patients and their caregivers.

Once, a young patient’s mother called Jess in a panic when her daughter was in a serious condition. She asked if Jess could help to inform the surgeon that her daughter had been admitted to a hospital in Malaysia with fever and suspected pneumonia.

Not only did Jess help to inform the surgeon, she also spent her lunch breaks lending a listening ear to the worried mother. Their conversations went on for several weeks before the patient unfortunately succumbed to the illness and passed away.

Having worked in Clinic P for 14 years and interacted with many patients and families, Jess is keenly aware of the concerns they may have and always takes the initiative to try to allay their concerns.

She noticed that patients scheduled for surgery feel more assured when they speak to patients who are already recovering from surgery. This observation prompted her to try to schedule clinic visits for pre-op patients and post-op patients to take place around the same time, giving them the opportunity to speak to each other.

Jess has no doubt that being in healthcare is her true calling. “Although I have been in this job for more than 10 years, I feel just as passionate about the work as I did on my first day!” she quips.

Jess Ooi Shi Yang
Senior Patient Service Associate
Specialist Outpatient Clinic P
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Recipient of the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards (SHQSA) 2019 Superstar Award - Ancillary Category