S afety, Professionalism, Respect, Experience and Efficiency (SPREE)—these are the values that shape and represent SingHealth’s commitment to achieving excellence and providing the best possible care for patients.
As Singapore’s largest healthcare group with more than 28,000 staff, SingHealth is a trusted leader and trailblazer in the medical industry.
Among those living by the organisation’s ethos of putting “Patients at the Heart All We Do” is radiographer Qiu Dejian. He has been serving patients at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for three years and is a beneficiary of the Healthcare Merit Award, a scholarship administered by MOH Holdings.
Dejian shares more on the opportunities that the scholarship has provided him with, that has empowered him to excel in his career today.
Firstly, give us a brief outline of your work as a radiographer.
Radiographers work with a wide range of medical imaging equipment to produce images of the internal structure of the human body. These images assist clinicians in the diagnosis of illnesses and injuries in patients.
My clinical specialisation is in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Prior to the MRI scan, I will communicate with clinicians and patients and make the proper preparations for it. During the procedure, I may modify the scan techniques and requirements according to the patient’s condition. I am also responsible for the safety of patients before, during and after the procedure.
Healthcare Merit Award Mid-term Scholar
Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging
In what ways is your job challenging, yet exciting at the same time?
A radiographer’s job is challenging as it requires many different skill sets. A radiographer needs to possess not only the technical skills to operate various types of medical imaging equipment, but also good interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with patients and fellow healthcare professionals. Quick and critical thinking on your feet is also often required to meet the ever-changing needs we encounter in our job. It is not a routine desk job where the daily tasks can get repetitive, so a big part of the excitement comes from meeting different people and the unique learning experiences we get on a daily basis!
How did the scholarship prepare you to excel in these roles and responsibilities today?
The scholarship gave me an opportunity to study and work overseas, which was invaluable for my professional and character development. I believe that it is important to learn about radiography practices in other countries so that we can continually improve our practice back home. These experiences come in especially handy when embarking on projects aimed at improving workplace practices and ultimately, the quality of care for our patients.
In terms of your career aspirations, how does SingHealth support its staff in this area?
The organisation is extremely supportive of staff training and development, with study leave and sponsorships granted to staff who wish to further their professional qualifications. For example, I was granted a one-year study leave to pursue my degree in Australia, and the organisation frequently contacted me to provide me with support and updates about work. This has inspired me to be involved in the training and education of future radiographers, and I also hope to attain further postgraduate qualifications and further equip myself with the required clinical expertise and knowledge.
Besides staff support, how else would you describe the values and corporate culture at SGH and SingHealth?
SGH and SingHealth always place patients at the heart of everything we do. We are dedicated to delivering safe and quality healthcare to our patients. There is a strong emphasis for staff to adhere to the highest standard of professional conduct and ethical behaviour, and to treat everyone with respect and compassion. SGH also has a strong culture of appreciation, with numerous awards and appreciation events that recognise and affirm the efforts of individuals and teams in the hospital. Within the radiology department, all staff are held to high standards for the quality of our work. Our imaging protocols are also frequently reviewed to achieve the best clinical outcomes. There is also a culture of sharing, where experienced radiographers impart their clinical knowledge to the juniors.
On an ending note, what advice would you have for aspiring scholars to embark on a career with SingHealth?
To those aspiring to work in healthcare, I strongly encourage you to speak with people in the profession to understand the work and challenges we face. You can also apply for attachments or internships at various organisations to observe first-hand what our daily work is like. Finally and most importantly, you should have a very clear idea of why you would want to choose this career and why you would want to apply for a scholarship with us.