Having access to a good healthcare system is vital to a country’s growth, and in Singapore, the National Healthcare Group (NHG) plays a key role in bringing care to the population. Recognised for the quality of its medical expertise and facilities, NHG’s integrated network of six polyclinics, acute and tertiary hospitals, national specialty centres, and business units provide integrated patient-centred care to the community.
NHG’s 18,000-strong team is driven by one common vision: to go beyond just healing the sick, to preventing illnesses, and Adding Years of Healthy Life. As a MOH Holdings (MOHH) Health Science scholar, 28-year-old Lynn Lee shares in this vision as the assistant head of service and senior respiratory therapist at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), a member of NHG.
In the challenging but rewarding work environment at TTSH, Lynn has seen herself grow exponentially since she started five years ago, after completing a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Her current responsibilities include managing patients who are on mechanical ventilation and training caregivers of patients who are returning home on a ventilator, to name a few.
Assistant Head of Service
Senior Respiratory Therapist,
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy – University of Kansas Medical Center
“I find it very rewarding to end each day knowing that I’ve helped another person in a significant manner – be it regarding ventilation, giving them more time to overcome their illness in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and wards, or providing family members with training and support to get past a difficult phase in their lives,” she shares. Conferences, closed-door sessions, workshops, and lectures have also helped elevate her skills to a higher level, added Lynn.
Apart from her technical work as a respiratory therapist, there have been many opportunities to help her improve and grow as a leader and educator. “There are many challenges in a developing profession like Respiratory Therapy,” she says. “It is not as established when compared to other Allied Health professions. TTSH has been a seed bed for my ideas on how the profession should grow.”
Being able to mentor students as they enter into a career in Allied Health has been one of the highlights of her career. “Knowing I have inspired them to become better clinicians and played a part in developing their passion to provide quality patient care gives me a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction,” beams Lynn.
Forging Identity And Confidence
As Respiratory Therapy is still relatively new to the healthcare industry, effort has to be spent building its professional identity through educating the public and raising awareness among other medical professionals, explains Lynn. “Managing our relationships with other professionals and helping our therapists build that sense of identity is challenging, complicated, and often keeps me awake even at the end of the day.”
Maintaining a healthy work culture – where camaraderie, continuous learning, and growth is encouraged – in a department with diverse demographics is no simple task either. Lynn shares, “Each day brings new possibilities and problems, but every experience empowers me to better serve as a leader and to be a multiplier to my team.”
After five years with TTSH and NHG, Lynn remains impressed with the organisation’s tenacious and bold spirit for growth and innovation. In fact, the newly opened Ng Teng Fong Centre for Healthcare Innovation (CHI), located opposite TTSH, is proof of this. As a training and innovation hub, CHI aims to equip healthcare professionals for future challenges through interactive learning, teaching, and research opportunities that focus on innovative and team-based education.
Lynn elaborates, “The CHI Living Lab is one of the most interesting domains I have come across. The environment and equipment are specifically structured to help clinicians develop solutions for everyday problems that can be resolved with good design.”
Lynn cited the “kampung spirit” embraced by leaders of TTSH and NHG that has proven key in catalysing the organisation’s growth. “There were many instances when I needed training, coaching, and support, and found that the leaders were always willing to extend a hand. The institution strives to groom capable people effectively, and growth is not measured by tenure, but by merit,” says Lynn.