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MARCH/APRIL 2014 MCI (P) 197/03/2013

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Personal data and you What the Personal Data Protection Act means for you

SoN and the future of nursing

Ex-students share their memories and future wishes

Breathtaking patient care Singapore Health Quality Service Award’s Superstars


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

e r u feat

Handling technology with a human touch Prof Tan Bien Soo advances interventional radiology to world class status

03 06 08

The future of nursing is at SingHealth

SoN and the future of nursing Ex-students share their memories and future wishes

Personal data and you

What the Personal Data Protection Act means for you

in every issue 10 12 14 18 19 20

quality pulse spree in action campus buzz cross culture your take the last page


Advisor Tan-Huang Shuo Mei Contributors Estee Chan, Geoffrey Gui, Chia Kuok Wei, Ratna Abdul Rahman, Vanessa Peters, Jennifer Wee, Michelle Scully, Goh Sai Luan Distribution Helen Yang On the Cover Dr Mariko Koh’s breathtaking care wins her the Superstar award at the Singapore Health Quality Service Award 2014 on page 12. ----------Life@SGH Campus is published every two months in print and online by the SGH Communications Department

I felt sad when I heard that our muchloved School of Nursing (SoN) will be making way for a community hospital. But the school has produced many generations of nurses, who have blazed the path for today's nurses.

“Our clinical diversity continues to be the difference maker – a nurse trained on our campuses is a nurse who has seen it all.” The future belongs to the thinking nurse. The thinking nurse is informed and learned, while seeing to the continued improvement of patient care. I see that nurse every day. That nurse is the SingHealth nurse.

Continuing education now becomes key. Our clinical diversity continues to be the difference maker – a nurse trained on our campuses is a nurse who has seen it all. And with that exposure comes more than 60 training hours a year for each and every SingHealth nurse courtesy of the Alice Lee Institute of Advanced Nursing and the numerous scholarship opportunities abroad. I may sound biased, but the future of nursing is at SingHealth. I encourage every young nurse to embrace the many opportunities that come their way, and to discover the legacy of SoN, which is now theirs to continue. Dr Tracy Carol Ayre, Group Director of Nursing, SingHealth Director of Nursing, SGH


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

feature (continued from Page 3)

The future of nursing is at SingHealth

Daughters and SoN 1986: a group of young women entered the SoN (School of Nursing). They followed the thousands who had lived at SoN where they studied, formed close bonds with their course mates, and created precious memories. We speak to some past students from class PTS 95 of 1986 to gain an insight into the evolution of nursing education.

What change in nursing education amazes you the most? Ong C E: Nurses today are highly educated and in specialised fields. 20 years ago, obtaining a post-basic certificate was considered very good. Today, many nurses hold basic and even PhD degrees.

M Chia: I was inspired by an aunt who was a Nursing Officer at Tan Tock Seng Hospital and had my parents’ support. I also felt it was a noble career with an ‘iron rice bowl’. Puspa: I was a member of the Red Cross Society in school and had a passion for Nursing.

M Chia: I am happy that I had a lot of clinical experience during my training. It made me confident and I was able to independently perform my duties as a Staff Nurse when I graduated. Poonam: My tutor Miss Wong told me that when I became a Registered Nurse, I would be responsible for the entire ward and hold the key to the MC drawer (this is where the medical certificates were kept). Even the doctors had to come to us for the certificates. From then, I realised the importance of my role.


M Chia: We had lots of fun gossiping, cooking and studying together. We shared our grievances and this helped us cope with the pressures of school and clinical practice. Cheong C P: We formed special bonds, encouraged and helped each other especially during the examination period.

What made you take up nursing studies? Chua S M: My interest for nursing started with my frequent visits to my grandmother in the hospital.

What do you appreciate most from your SoN training? Ong C E: Living in the hostel with friends. The six-week study blocks were also enjoyable as we got to meet course mates who were posted to other hospitals.

What did you enjoy most of your hostel days? Ong C E: We didn’t have to travel to school so we got more sleep! We also became independent as we had to do our own washing and cooking. The shared meals and revisions of school work also instilled a sense of belonging and discipline.

Urine testing in the old days

Name one activity/task in your training that you are glad is no longer taught? Chua S M: The laborious testing of diabetic urine using the chemical and test tube method. If you weren’t careful, the urine solution would overheat and shoot out of the test tube! Today, we use urine lab sticks which are much easier, faster and less messy to use.

Chua S M: Using life-like manikins in teaching nursing clinical skills like defibrillation, intubation and cannulation etc. These 'Patient Human Simulators' are able to simulate real life clinical scenarios and allow trainee nurses to learn in a safe and conducive environment.

What is one advancement in nursing that gives you the greatest satisfaction? Too A L:That would be the evolution of the taskcentric care to patient-centric care. This is what I call holistic care for patients. Chua S M: The restructuring of the nursing career track means nurses can now focus on Informatics, Research, Advanced Practice, Education etc. Nurses now also have more opportunities for promotions, sponsorships and awards. Puspa: Nurses like the Advance Practice Nurses are empowered to make decisions in patient care and are recognised as equal partners in multidisciplinary teams. What is your wish for the future of nursing? Puspa: Nursing must be recognised as a noble profession by the younger generation. All nurses must grow in the profession and not give up the patient contact which gives the most satisfaction. M Chia: Yes, I’d like more recognition and respect for the profession, especially locally. Ong C E: My wish is for nurses to have less administrative paper work to do, so that we’ll have more time for our patients.

Who’s who:

Too A L: We were taught to massage pressure sores with soap and water where the redness was. This was not evidence based and today we know it actually causes more harm. Cheong C P: Depending on the condition of the babies, we had to prepare bottle feeds in different concentrations and amounts. I could never remember the formulae.

PTS 95 students on the first day of posting to Major OT

The class of PTS 95 in 1986

SNM Cheong Chiu Peng, ward 47 ADN (education) Chua Siew Mui, Alice Lee IAN NC Martha Mabel Chia Jia En, ward 77 SNC Ong Choo Eng, stoma care SNM Poonam Vas Dev Bajaj NC Puspalatah Sathasivan, Clinic G SNC Irene Too Ai Ling


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

up close What are your views on the developments in

Handling technology with a human touch Interventional Radiologists use radiological images to guide them in carrying out minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat diseases. A/Prof Tan Bien Soo, Senior Consultant, Dept of Diagnostic Radiology was appointed a Distinguished Fellow last year by the CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE), for his many contributions to the field. How did your interest in interventional radiology (IR) come about? As a Houseman, I managed a patient who just had a needle biopsy of a lung lesion performed by a radiologist under X-ray fluoroscopic guidance. I was amazed that the patient was so well with no visible wounds on the skin. This prompted me to explore and specialise in IR by applying for a Diagnostic Radiology traineeship. What were the challenges you encountered in your career? Medicine is a career with very long training period. Trying to find the right balance between work and family was very challenging, especially during the growing years of one’s children. This continues to be a challenge for me and requires constant focus and


your specialty? There have been many positive developments in both Diagnostic Radiology and IR. IR has grown tremendously as a result of technological advances and evidence based medicine. I have been fortunate to have worked with many enlightened clinical colleagues who have embraced these developments and entrusted us to treat their patients with these new techniques. However, sometimes we doctors get too engrossed with the technical aspects of a case and forget the human being behind this. It is very important that we never forget the person we are treating.

adjustments. Today,I consider my constant efforts to be a good husband and a good father to be among my strongest achievements. What is the most difficult or challenging case you’ve ever handled? Early in my career, a young mother I treated required an angioplasty for a recurrent stenosis of her central vein. Unfortunately, she collapsed just as I had completed the procedure and despite extreme efforts in resuscitation, she could not be revived. Breaking the bad news to her family was one of the most difficult moments of my career. Fortunately, I was supported and guided by the senior physician who was her primary doctor. It was a tough learning experience for me. It was later confirmed that the procedure was not directly related to the cause for her death. This event is deeply etched in my memory. We need to be aware that sometimes, our treatments may not result in a positive outcome, and that we should always be humble and forthcoming with our patients and their families. It is hard to break bad news, especially when it is unanticipated. Having learnt from experience, I try to make it a point to be there for my younger colleagues when they face similar events.

What do you think could be done better in your field to improve patient outcomes? I feel that as IR techniques become more applicable to more patients, we need to have more interaction with our patients and their families, so that they can access relevant and adequate information and make informed decisions about their medical treatment. We also need to actively participate in clinical research in this field to better define the evidence for our techniques compared to other modes of treatment. This is an area of focus for our Interventional Radiology team in SGH. What would you consider to be the best things about your work? I work with a great team of people in Diagnostic Radiology and IR, and derive great satisfaction from being able to utilise our combined skills to help treat patients from all walks of life, and to make a difference.

“However, sometimes we doctors get too engrossed with the technical aspects of a case and forget the human being behind this. It is very important that we never forget the person we are treating. ”

I also am able to touch the future by participating in the education of trainees, residents, fellows and medical students. How does work affect your family life? Work takes me away from my family. Fortunately, my wife and children have been extremely understanding when I often have to rush back to hospital for urgent cases. My wife also constantly reminds me of the importance of my role at home. I try to compensate by spending time with my family when not at work. I also regularly take leave for family holidays and to spend time at home. Where does Singapore IR stand in the world? In Singapore, IR has developed rapidly over the past decade, and there is an IR service in every public hospital. IR is practised to a high standard, and this was highlighted at the Annual Scientific Meeting of CIRSE in Spain last year. There was a dedicated ‘CIRSE meets Singapore’ programme where we shared some of our advances in IR. This success of this programme is evidence of the high standing of Singapore IR at the global level. Tell us a little about the coming Asia Pacific IR conference that you are organising. The Asia Pacific Congress of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology will be held in Singapore from the 15 to 18 May 2014. It is held in conjunction with the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Singapore Radiological Society and the College of Radiologists, Singapore. This is the signature conference on Interventional Radiology for the Asia Pacific region and runs biennially. We chose Academia at SGH Campus as the congress venue to tap on all the state of the art educational facilities offered on site. We are very proud to be hosting this event this year and our organising committee has been working extremely hard to ensure a successful congress.


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014


Personal data and you

The way we collect and manage personal data at work will come under stricter regulation when a new law, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), comes into full effect in July 2014.

Why you should take an interest

The PDPA holds the organisation and each of us personally accountable for breach of the law, even if it is by neglect. It provides an additional framework for us to be more stringent in carrying out our existing policies of maintaining patient confidentiality.

What you can expect



There will be changes to some of our policies and practices, as we review and develop new ones. These would include practical steps like reviewing our forms to identify whether information collected is essential; or introducing stricter control of staff access to data, to make each of us personally accountable. You will be kept informed about these policies and practices when they are ready. The first briefing sessions to introduce PDPA have been held.


SingHealth has appointed all the Chief Operating Officers in the Group as Data Protection Officers. They will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the law.


Implement processes for individuals who are asserting their rights under the law.

What is the Personal Data Protection Act? The act governs the collection, use, disclosure and care of personal data. It recognises the rights of individuals to protect their personal data. It also recognises the rights of organisations to collect, use or disclose personal data for legitimate and reasonable purposes. One part of the PDPA which came into effect in January 2014 is the Do Not Call Registry, which lets individuals opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing messages.

Why now?

Today, organisations collect and use vast amounts of personal data, and even share them with third parties. With more sophisticated technology such as IT and personal devices, there is greater risk of


Some practical steps

Obtaining consent “Does this task require consent?” “Is the consent form adequately worded to serve my needs?” “Is the explanation clear especially if the purpose is unusual to the layman?”

Know the purpose of collecting the data. “Why do I need the information?” “Do I need all these details to provide the service?”

Sharing of information “Did the person consent to his data being used for this purpose?” “Does this third party have a need to know?” “Can the third party carry out the task without the personal data” “Is the data being transferred overseas?”

Check yourselves by asking some of these questions: “Is this personal data?” In other words, can the person be identified from the information or images?

For example, you are organising an event and need a list to record attendance. You have a data file that includes telephone numbers, addresses and NOK contacts. Should you just print out all the information or select only the relevant data?

Retention of data “Why do we need to maintain the records?” “Do we have a process to review and flush out old records?”

misuse of information. It is therefore necessary to regulate this to protect each person’s right to privacy and maintain trust in the organisations that manage such data.

What is personal data?

The data is personal if an individual can be identified from the information. In the context of our work, these would be information in relation to colleagues, patients and their next of kin (NOK). These include patient/NOK records, financial and billing records, CCTV footage, human resource records and even cookies on websites.

Crossing the line

Breach of the law, whether by deliberate action or neglect, can result in hefty fines or jail terms. An organisation may be being fined up to S$1 million, while individuals can be fined up to S$100,000 or jailed for up to 12 months.

Accuracy & Correction “Is the information accurate and complete?” especially if the data is to be used to make a decision affecting the person, or is likely to be disclosed to another organisation. “How do I facilitate and document a request to correct or amend information?" Protection of data “Have I taken reasonable steps to prevent unauthorised access, collection, use, copying or modification of data?” “What is the impact of a security breach on the person whose data is compromised?”

Would this constitute a breach of PDPA? In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, a poor tobacco farmer in America died from cervical cancer. Her cancerous cells were taken without her knowledge or consent, cultured and distributed for research usage around the world. Most people have not heard of Henrietta. Yet, her cells have played a vital role in medical research for the last 62 years. They helped develop the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping and have been bought and sold by the billions. However, her family was not consulted and informed of that her cells had been taken and how they were used. The book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks explores the ethical and legal aspects of uncontrolled use of personal data. Today, Henrietta’s cells continue to be used and only recently, her family finally gained some control over how her genome is to be used in the future. While you and I may not deal with cells or DNA, we can think about how we handle our patients’ details and information.


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

quality pulse

Quality Improvement’s journey through FY 2013

TE- IQC 23 May & 11 Nov

20 SGH QI teams participated in Team Excellence Innovative and Quality Circles assessments. These teams were rated by external quality assessors and won 13 Golds and 7 Silver awards.

Quality Convention 27 March

Theme: Experiencing Quality This SGH-wide event saw 900 staff participating. SNM Priscilla Tan (Ward 64-OTO) won the QI Champion of the Year and Team “Let’s Support It” (Ward 48 - Medical) won the QI Project of the Year.

QI Fest

12 August

Theme: Fast and Curious QI Fest 2013 focused on Rapid Improvement Event (RIE) projects. Siew Eng How (DEM) and his team won the Best RIE Project. 39 staff also graduated from our QI workshops at the event.


TE-IQC Awards

May Nov

Our Quality Figures (as of Q3 FY2013)

78 121

Workshop Participation SGH-Improvement Rapid Improvement Event


Completed Projects 24

Quality Improvement Rapid Improvement Event


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

spree in action

Singapore Health Quality Service Award 2014 We ushered in the New Year with a celebration of Service Excellence at the Singapore Health Quality Service Awards 2014. Super United Rangers from SDA Centre, Admission Office, Wards 76 & 55A, Clinic H and Transportation

AN SGH MOMENT This year, 2465 SingHealth staff were recognised, of which 1385 were from SGH. From the SingHealth group, three Superstars emerged – Dr Mariko Koh, Senior Consultant, Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine SGH; Nurse Manager Catherine Paul from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Medical Social Worker Jan Koh from National Heart Centre Singapore. Super United Rangers from SGH and Hearts from NCCS won best team awards. The Rangers developed a more efficient system of keeping patients’ belongings in specially sealed and tagged tamper-proof bags. This saves time for patients and frees staff to spend more time caring for patients. Sengkang Health also recognised the importance of honouring service quality among its pioneer staff and nominated six of them for the award.

Breathtaking patient care Superstar Award – Clinician category Dr Mariko Koh Senior Consultant, Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, SGH

Over 16 years in the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine at SGH, Dr Mariko Koh has gained much ground in critical clinical and research areas while always putting her patients first. She said, “Good patient care starts right from the beginning – from the moment patients enter the hospital compound till post-treatment and aftercare. It is about total and complete care.”


In the past year alone, she received 119 compliments. Mr Tan Chay Hua, in his 70s, is a long term sufferer of asthma. Just a few months ago, his severe asthma attacks occurred several times a week, each time landing him in the hospital. Today, his asthma is completely under control and he attributes this to Dr Koh’s exceptional care. “Dr Koh gave me the confidence to live without my nebuliser (an inhaling device),” said Mr Tan.

When asked about her approach to patient care, Dr Koh said, “It helps to understand the patient’s perspective; to really listen and to have their best interest at heart. It is about being patient-centric.” Dr Koh is also a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Clinical Physician Faculty Member for Internal Medicine, SGH.

How to save a Life Step 1: Be brave Staff Nurse Joanne Tan, Ward 43, Burns Unit was using the gym at a condominium when her boyfriend raced in to tell her a young boy had just drowned in the pool and people were trying to revive him. ‘I was a bit nervous as I had never applied my life saving skills outside of the hospital – but I decided I had to help,’ said Joanne. Step 2: Be calm and confident The five-year old boy had been pulled out of the pool by the security guard. A few bystanders had come forward to help but were panicking as they were not medically trained. Said Joanne , “When I arrived, I saw people trying to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) but it was clear to me that they did not know what they were doing. I stepped in and immediately took over.” Step 3: Be patient and don’t give up “Another stranger who had some training in first aid arrived on the scene. We worked together to give CPR to the boy. I started worrying as I couldn’t detect a pulse and the boy showed no vital signs. But I thought I couldn’t give up, we just have to keep on trying till the ambulance arrived. I was so relieved when the paramedics arrived and managed to detect a faint pulse!” The boy recovered fully without any complications. Two of the bystanders praised SN Joanne for her swift response and action. And that’s how you save a life.

Congratulation to all our winners!


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

campus buzz

Breaking new ground Dr Andrea Kwa was the first Allied Health Clinician Scientist to win the Transition Award by the National Medical Research Council (NMRC)!

Doctors offer look-over at GroomOver

The Pharmacy Clinician Scientist and Assistant Director of SGH Health Services Related Research Unit, will use the three-year funding from the award to pursue her research on ‘Anti-fungal resistance diagnosis - Moving forward with molecular techniques for point of care therapeutics’.

For the first time, 25 SingHealth doctors joined 280 volunteers in the annual GroomOver project in January, offering free basic health screening to the elderly and needy. While SGH Campus staff gave Mr Wong K C’s flat a new coat of paint, Dr Eugene Wong was on hand to check his blood pressure and counsel him on his knee problems and medication. Volunteers helped to spring clean, paint and refurbish the homes of 26 needy residents in time for the festive season.The residents also received kettles, rice cookers, fans, blankets, mattresses, pillows and Chinese New Year food hampers.

Hearing impaired children make roaring music

Ushering in Lunar New Year with patients In another first, our doctors in the Specialist Outpatient Clinics joined in the tradition of giving out oranges to patients on the eve of Lunar New Year. In the wards, more than 50 SingHealth leaders fanned out to do the same. This year, SGH nurses also raised funds to put together food hampers for more than 200 patients in the C class wards.


The Award aims to help talented, young Clinician Scientists grow in their research skills and experience to enable them to obtain independent research funding.

Assoc Prof Marcus Ong, Senior Consultant and Clinician Scientist, Department of Emergency Medicine, has won the NMRC Clinician Scientist Award again. He first clinched the award in 2011.

The best shot

17 hearing-impaired children and their families came together in January for a special day to make friends and their own musical instruments. Friends from the Singapore Contemporary Youth Artists taught the children how to make tambourines which sounded like leaves blowing in the wind, shakers which sounded like rain and drums. The parents bonded over their common goal of helping their hearing-impaired children overcome their difficulties and succeed in life. The Art Day was organised by the Dept of Otolaryngology.

National Heart Centre spreads its wings National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) has ceased operations at Mistri Wing to settle in its new roost on 10 March. All outpatient services have been transferred, while the inpatient wards and Cardiothoracic Surgery Intensive Care Unit remain at SGH. The Campus shuttle bus service to the MRT station will include the new NHCS building in its route. The Prime Minister will officially open the new building in September this year.

SGH Radiographer Ng Jia has won an international competition for achieving the best CT image of a heart with the lowest dose of radiation. A total of 135 institutions and 197 participants from all over the world took part in the Siemens CT Right Dose Image Contest which aims to promote radiation reduction. The win reinforces the skills of our radiographers in adhering to the As Low As Reasonably Achievable principle in keeping radiation at safe levels for our patients, while delivering high quality imaging.


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

campus buzz

Paying it forward to children of SGH staff Liew Ah Soo and his wife worked as OT medical orderlies (today known as healthcare attendants) at SGH from the late 40s to early 90s. Although he never managed to get an education, he made sure his children did. Recently, one of his daughters donated funds to sponsor an education award for the children of SGH staff, in honour of her late father. Flowering under the right conditions Liew Ah Soo came from a poor family in Fujian, China. When he was eight, his family moved to Singapore in 1922 where his mother worked as a domestic helper. Despite his lack of schooling, Mr Liew possessed a life-long quest for learning, coupled with a natural curiosity for the world at large. When the 1950s hailed an explosion of orchid cultivating, Mr Liew's aptitude for learning led him to master different techniques in orchid growing – all through pure observation and wins at major orchid competitions. Grafting onto the next generation All 12 of Mr Liew's children went to school, right up to tertiary level with a number obtaining postgraduate qualifications. One of his daughters, Geok-Kee Koeneman shares, “We were spurred on to educational achievements not by the cane or tutors, but by simple folksy parables which drove home the importance of education.”


Patients right-sited to FMC

Benefitting children of SGH staff

This year, for the first time, we were able to present 15 children of SGH staff, with sponsorship for their studies, sponsored by another of Mr Liew's children – Dr Liew Geok Cheng, an Opthalmologist.

Right-siting stable patients to FMCs will help ease congestion in our outpatient facilities and improve access to care.

Sowing the seeds Norbahya Ibrahim, Patients Service Associate and her daughter Fatimah

Bring in the Brigade! For the first time, SGH hosted 15 Secondary students from St John Ambulance Brigade for a five-day hospital attachment in November. The nurses at various wards amazed the students with their multi-tasking abilities. “Being able to handle two or more patients singlehandedly is amazing!” said student Hairul Nasuha. 85% of the students said they would consider a career in healthcare and some requested for more hospital attachments in the future.

The daughter of Norbahya Ibrahim, a Patient Service Associate, received one such award. Fatimah is pursuing a Diploma in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic. Mdm Norbahya, who has three children, expressed her gratitude to Dr Liew and her family. “It is very tough being the sole breadwinner of the family. This money will help greatly towards Fatimah’s school expenses and ease my financial burden.” Another recipient is the child of Janiah Bakar, a Health Care Attendant. Norshalawati is pursuing a Diploma in Environment at Republic Polytechnic. The older of two children, she is determined to succeed. “I chose this course because it’s my passion. With the diploma, I can become a safety officer – this is my ultimate aim and exactly what I want to do.” Donor-sponsored education award for children of SGH staff The next application period for this award is in August. Look out for more information on the intranet and email blasts. Staff will be able to download the application form online.

A reliable watch

SGH has started discharging some patients with stable chronic conditions to the care of private-sector Family Physicians at the Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) at Chinatown Point. The FMC opened its doors in late January 2014, supported by SingHealth as part of efforts to move suitable patients away from hospital care to the appropriate setting. FMCs are part of MOH master plan to transform primary care. After SGH, the National Heart Centre Singapore will begin referring patients to the FMC followed by the Singapore National Eye Centre. There are also plans for the FMC to get referrals from SingHealth Polyclinics especially at Outram, Bukit Merah and Queenstown.

SGH has received the National Safety and Security Watch Group award. The award is given to organisations with exceptional levels of safety practices, emergency preparedness and crisis management, from fires to terrorist threats. Our security team and the department of Facilities Management and Engineering work closely with the Singapore Police and Civil Defence Forces to ensure safety for patients, visitors and staff.

“The FMC is geared towards right-siting the large number of patients with stable chronic conditions who are being seen at our Specialist Outpatient Clinics and polyclinics for want of a better alternative,” said Assoc Prof Lee Kheng Hock, Director of Office of Integrated Care. “The doctors at the FMC work closely with SingHealth specialists to co-manage the patients’ conditions. Patients receiving continuing care at the FMC will continue to maintain access to specialist care within SingHealth institutions.”


LIFE at SGH Campus | Mar/Apr 2014

your take

time out

Running in the Family You work together and you showed us how you play together.

A tale of two similar cities When I came here, I was struck by how westernised Singaporeans are in terms of culture and language. There are many similarities too. Our Taiwanese dialect sounds a lot like your Hokkien dialect so I could understand it. The difficult but most interesting thing about Singapore for me is Singlish – the little words like ‘la’ and mixing of languages when speaking. You have Malay and dialect words like kay poh often inserted into an English conversation.

“Hong Ngee, Senior Pharmacist and me, enjoying a break after cycling with the others at Pulau Ubin on a beautiful Saturday morning.”


“Stretching near Hort Park. It is difficult to coordinate our schedules but we run weekly after work to keep fit together.” - JOANNE CHEOK, Human Resource Assistant

Technologist, Skin Bank Unit, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery

“We wanted to join SGH’s futsal competition for fun, so we formed a women’s team – Fiery Force.”

Mind your language

In the hospital, we use Mandarin a lot, especially with the older patients. I’ve discovered there are a few common terms which we use differently though:


Senior Patient Services Associate, Diabetes Clinic

• In Taiwan, to lie down, we say 躺tǎng. However, it is quite common for older patients here to say 睡shuì, which means ‘to sleep’. • In Taiwan, to ‘take off’, eg ‘take off your clothes’, we’d use 脱掉tuō diào. However, sometimes I need to use 脱出来tuō chū lái which actually means to ‘take out’. Karen Chin Tzu-Chiao, SGH Radiographer looks like a Singaporean and speaks Mandarin. Perhaps that is why she is often mistaken for a local. However, Karen hails from Taiwan. “Many Singaporeans are familiar with Taiwan and feel it’s a lot like Singapore – a very busy, modern city. However, I come from the outskirts of Kaohsiung county, with beautiful countryside, rice fields and mountains. Life is slow paced. Since there is no TV at home, we spend our time with friends and family. This is a side of Taiwan that most Singaporeans do not know.

The biggest misunderstanding occurred when I first arrived. I was then living with a friend’s relatives, an older couple. The woman introduced me to her husband and told me his name was ‘Annger’ which I thought was very unusual. One day, there was a large family gathering where I met a few other men who were also called Annger. I asked my friend about the strangeness of this name being so common in the family. After being equally puzzled, we solved the mystery – I had been asked to call them “Uncle”! I kept hearing ‘Annger’ because of their Singlish pronunciation."



“Comprising of nurses, administrators and doctors, the DEM futsal team took 3rd place in last year’s Futsal Tournament at SGH!”

— KELVIN CHIEW, Manager, Department of 18


Joanne, we’ll be in touch, on how to collect your $20 prize voucher

Emergency Medicine

We’re all familiar with this classic SGH photo. We want you to do your own version of it. Most creative version wins a $20 voucher. Send it to Closing date: 6th April 2014.


st a l theage p

Survival tips for crowded MRT trains “1. I suggested that my pregnant wife tie some spiky durian husks around her shoulders and abdomen to deter space-unconscious people. 2. For short people like myself, a long straw for breathing "above-heads" level, especially when someone farts. 3. For the not-so-old people who wish to get seats, it's best to bring along a walking stick. If you need tips for walking like a person in need of sitting, please see us for special gait training.” — ADON CHAN, Physiotherapist, SGH

“1. I carry my backpack in front instead of on my back for personal space and to protect myself against accusations of molestation. 2. I always spray perfume or deodorant so that I don’t have to deal with bad smells around me.” — RAJASHEIKRAN KRISHNAMURTHY, Senior HR Development Specialist, SGH

“1. Wear super-high heels and stand taller than anyone, to breathe in fresher air. 2. Stand in front of seats so that when passengers alight, you can grab their seats. 3. In the mornings, learn to recognise uniforms and locations of schools. Know the stations where the students will alight and aim for their seats. 4. To have medicated oil always. You never know when you'll need it for bad body odour!”

“I notice many people sniffing badly in the mornings. They should be blowing their noses to get rid of the mucus instead of trying to inhale it. Some wipe their noses on their sleeves and back of their hands, and then grab the handle bars. It’s so unhygienic! That’s why I always carry a packet of tissue paper to offer to these people.”

— TAN KHEE KHEE, Nurse Clinician, Emergency Medicine, SGH

— JAYNTHI KARAPPIAH, Nurse Clinician, Speciality Care, SGH

3. Music helps me to zone out the crowd around me, so earphones are essential.”

“1. A small bottle of perfume (or medicated oil) always comes in handy to combat unpleasant smells. 2. When that fails, I breathe through my mouth.

— SITI ZAWIYAH ABOO, Communications Executive, NCCS


Life@SGH campus issue MarApr 2014